Rapid Advances in Healthcare Informatics Raise Stakes for Clinical Pathology Laboratories

Medical laboratories advised to regularly update capabilities in integrated health informatics

During this first year of federal incentives for adoption of electronic health records (EHR), large numbers of hospitals and office-based physicians are actively developing an informatics strategy for their organizations. As these providers acquire and deploy EHR systems, clinical laboratories and pathology groups will need to deliver a robust LIS-to-EMR interface that seamlessly handles medical laboratory test orders and lab test results reporting.

Yet, even as providers install new EHR systems, many enabling technologies in computer hardware, software, wireless, and mobile computing devices are gaining capabilities at a startling rate. “These rapid improvements in information technology create a new level of risk for those clinical laboratory administrators and pathologists who have responsibility for their medical laboratory’s information technology strategy, and the operating of their lab’s IT department,” stated Gai Elhanan, M.D., M.A., Chief Medical Information Officer at Halfpenny Technologies, Inc., based in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.