News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel

News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
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Innovator Hospitals Bring ICUs into the Info Age, Using New Design Approaches that involve Medical Laboratory Tests

By consolidating information, automating data collection, and harnessing new cloud computing technologies, doctors hope to silence the endless array of alarms and inject efficiency and personalization into the critical care experience

Some healthcare experts believe it is time that intensive care units undergo a workflow redesign to improve the quality of care they deliver, while reducing or eliminating design elements that contribute to errors. Clinical laboratories have a stake in this redesign effort, as they provide medical laboratory tests for patients in ICUs.

“What I want to do for the ICU is what Steve Jobs did for the iPhone,” said Peter Pronovost, PhD, MD, in an article published in STAT. Pronovost is working to improve both the flow of information and delivery of care in the ICU of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. (more…)

New 3D Sutures Enable Collection of Biodata In Vivo Using Thread-Based Diagnostic Devices

Engineers have designed a microfluidics and nano-scale diagnostic toolkit suitable for attaching directly to muscle and tissue to monitor biomarkers and stream results wirelessly to care providers and medical laboratories

What would change in medicine if physicians had sutures that could collect and report biomarker data, including the kinds of biomarkers that are used in clinical laboratory tests? Such a product may be feasible, based on newly-published research.

“Smart sutures” are a joint project between Tufts University, Harvard University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) engineers. They announced a thread-based diagnostic device (TDD) system capable of detecting biomarkers and analytes using 3D sutures composed of cotton and synthetic threads.

Processing the cotton and synthetic threads in various ways enhances their natural properties. The toolkit of different sutures developed by the team has exhibited a range of uses—including measuring physical stress at an incision, monitoring pH of tissues and fluids, and measuring glucose. (more…)

Interoperability and Meaningful Use Attestation Continues to Increase as the Top 10 EHR Systems of 2015 Vie for Market Dominance

Pathologists and clinical lab managers will not be surprised to learn that Epic leads the competitive electronic health record system market, as ranked by SK&A

No one will be surprised that, in one company’s rankings of the top electronic health record (EHR) systems for 2015, the number one position is held by Epic Systems Corporation. More broadly, about half the market share of EHR systems is concentrated among just five EHR vendors.

Overall Ranking of Top 10 EHR Vendors in 2015

The report from SK&A outlines the top 10 EHR vendors by overall market share during 2015 as follows:

EHR Vendor and Market Share %

1) Epic Systems Corporation  11.6%
2) eClinicalWorks   10.2%
3) Allscripts   8.7%
4) Practice Fusion   6.7%
5) NextGen Healthcare  5.5%
6) General Electric Healthcare IT  3.6%
7) Cerner Corporation   3.5%
8) Athenahealth, Inc.   3.3%
9) McKesson Provider Technologies  3.2%
10) Amazing Charts Inc.   2.3% (more…)

Because It Remains Tough to Achieve Interoperability among EHRs, Congress is Proposing Legislation to Resolve That Issue in Ways That May Help Medical Laboratories

One new federal law forbids health IT vendors and providers from deliberately blocking information-sharing with competing EHR systems

Several years deep into its effort to get physicians and hospitals to use electronic health record (EHR) systems, the federal government has yet to come up with a way to improve interoperability—the ability of EHRs to interface and communicate with other systems.

Stage one and stage two Meaningful Use guidelines have failed to successfully address the barriers preventing interoperability. Of course, clinical laboratories and pathology groups encounter this problem daily. That’s because they must build interfaces between their laboratory information systems (LIS) and the EHRs of their client physicians. The cost of creating workable LIS-to-EHR interfaces continues to be a huge burden on medical laboratories and that is why they support improved interoperability. But labs also contribute to the lack of interoperability when they enact restrictions on how lab test data can be shared with other providers and competing labs who are serving the same physicians and patients. (more…)

How Medical Laboratories Help Physicians Overcome the Failure of Many EHR Systems to Support Effective Lab Test Ordering and Lab Result Reporting

Innovative clinical laboratories are not only rethinking traditional LIS-to-EHR interfaces with their client physicians, but they are also helping to streamline physicians’ workflow

Most clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups would welcome a fast (“easy-on”), cheap, and effective method that enables electronic lab test ordering and lab test reporting between physician’s offices and medical laboratories.

The goal is to create the seamless interface between the electronic health record (EHR) systems of office-based physicians and the laboratory information systems (LIS) of clinical laboratories. Labs want a way to electronically receive lab test orders from physicians in a format that is easily digested by the lab’s LIS, and perhaps their hospital’s information system (HIS), and which also allows the lab to match the orders accurately and seamlessly with specimens as they arrive.

Next, the clinical lab needs an equally seamless way to electronically transmit the medical laboratory test results back to physicians so that this lab test data automatically and accurately populates the physicians’ EHRs. (more…)