CommonWell is the name of the new organization formed to create the interoperability that would enable universal access to each patient’s health care records
It was big news in the healthcare IT world when six major healthcare IT companies joined together on March 4 and announced a collaboration intended to develop electronic health record (EHR) systems that are interoperable. That is a goal that can come none too soon for clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups.
The collaboration will take the form of an independent nonprofit organization to be called CommonWell Health Alliance. The six companies contributing to the formation of CommonWell are:
Record crowd of pathologists and clinical laboratory managers hear from medical lab industry leaders
Dateline: New Orleans, Louisiana—Here at the 16th annual Executive War College (EWC) on laboratory and pathology management, a crowd of record size has gathered to learn the latest trends in the clinical laboratory testing marketplace, and to hear about innovations and new management breakthroughs, as shared by top-performing medical laboratories.
As your Dark Daily editor, this is my first EWC. Readers of Dark Daily’s ebriefings (darkdaily.com) know me from my articles on the website. I’ve learned much about clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups since joining The Dark Group last year. And though my editorial background includes a recent six-year stint as Editor of Health Management Technology magazine, I was nevertheless impressed by the depth of information being offered at EWC. It is why this is truly the “must attend” conference for lab managers and pathologists.
Clinical laboratories and pathology groups must be ready to support physicians’ EMR adoption
In 2011, physicians can earn federal incentives for adopting electronic medical record (EMR) systems and demonstrating “meaningful use.” Every clinical laboratory and pathology group must be ready to deal with this new development. That’s because hundreds of thousands of physicians are about to embark on EMR implementation in their practices—with or without laboratory participation.
Meaningful use was the theme of The Dark Report’s audio conference conducted last month.
Three Experts on Clinical Pathology Laboratory Informatics
Pathologists and clinical laboratory managers participating in the audio conference heard three national experts speak about how mass adoption of EMRs by the nation’s physicians would affect three specific areas of laboratory informatics. The audio conference was titled “How Meaningful Use and EMR Adoption Will Reshape Your Lab’s Competitive Future—and Its Profitability”.
Some U.S. laboratories already ramping up their LIS resources to meet demand for LIS-to-EMR interfaces
Clinical laboratory managers and pathology groups need to prepare for what is expected to be a tsunami of requests by physicians who want their newly-implemented electronic medical record (EMR) systems to be interfaced with their laboratory’s LIS. This approaching tsunami is a consequence of the billions in federal incentive payments designed to encourage doctors to adopt EMRs.
It means lab managers and pathologists must actively prepare their medical laboratory to step up and support the “meaningful use” needs of client physicians. As mandated by the HITECH Act, healthcare providers are required to engage in “meaningful” patient health information (PHI) exchanges. Because more than 400,000 physicians will implement electronic medical records (EMR) in the next 60 months, labs should not delay in establishing a strategy.
Surge of requests for LIS-to-EMR interfaces will soon hit clinical pathology laboratories
EMR adoption by office-based physicians is about to seriously challenge the capability of the nation’s clinical pathology laboratories to quickly build interfaces with the electronic medical record (EMR) systems of their client doctors. That’s the prediction of one of the nation’s foremost experts on how to connect clinical pathology laboratories with physician EMRs.
“Today, only one of four physicians uses electronic medical records. To encourage more physicians to adopt medical record systems over the next five years, the ARRA stimulus package is offering major financial incentives,” observed Pat Wolfram, Vice President of Marketing and Customer Service at Ignis Systems Corporation in Portland, Oregon. “In fact, if the federal government achieves its goals as set forth in the current stimulus package, we can expect more than 300,000 physicians to adopt EMRs over the next five years!”