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 The rules based auto-verification of interfaced results


 The use of laboratory specimen barcode labeling, allows for the positive identification of patients by instruments, which reduces human errors.


SAMPLE COLLECTION AND TRACKING A new generation LIS allows for efficient sample collection and tracking. This significantly improves the accuracy of laboratory results in the EMR and reduces the turnaround time of results filed to the EMR.


In terms of sample collection and tracking the LIS achieves the following:  The LIS should provide laboratory personnel with a set of roles-based desktops, which streamline laboratory workflow by enabling users to access their most commonly used routines and reports from a central location


results in EMR; the instant results are verified. Notifications can be sent to the physician via email, pager, smartphone or the physician desktop, allowing an immediate assessment of the patient’s condition to be made and an alternative course of care to be followed, if necessary. Visual indicators in the EMR for critical/ abnormal test results draw physician’s attention to laboratory results that may have a direct impact on the course of a patient’s treatment.


RULE-BASED LOGIC Rule-based logic is a powerful technology that simplifies decision support, streamlines work flows, helps reduce errors, reduces treatment delays and maintain safety protocols. Laboratory personnel can define these rules, which reflect in the EMR, to direct care providers to the next logical step during a patient’s care. Subsequently, treatment delays are reduced, lengths of stay are decreased and the quality of patient’s care and safety are increased. Rule-based logic capabilities allow the


following:  Order rule logic: laboratory rules may prevent physicians from ordering a particular test based on a number of rule variables, serving as a guideline for ordering alternative, appropriate tests


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 Calculation criteria: results can be automatically calculated based on user defined logic. Calculation logic reduces interventions such as keying results in manually, thus eliminating the human error component


 Orders can be added reflexively when rules set for the result of one test trigger the ordering of complement tests, thus, ensuring all appropriate testing is completed in the laboratory


 If a necessity check fails, then the LIS automatically generates a notification, ensuring tests not covered by insurance aren’t ordered


 Interpretative reporting can be configured to appear on patient reports when a verified result violates one of the rules set by the system administrator.


AUTOMATION The concurrent trends of advances in patient care and the declining laboratory work force, translates into an increased volume of laboratory tests being processed by a decreasing number of personnel. This has demanded the need for automation. The EMR’s requirements of real time results, increased patient safety and accuracy are also met by automation. Automated functions could include:


 Interfacing of any laboratory instrument providing clinical results to the LIS


 Handheld devices can also be used by the phlebotomist to positively identify patients at the bedside. Thus, effectively reducing mismatch errors, recollections and specimen processing delays


 The LIS to track samples anywhere within the facility from the Specimen Desktop, enabling the laboratory staff to know the exact location of specimen at any point in time.


CONCLUSION The functions of a next generation LIS, as mentioned, directly impacts on and improves the EMR, providing the foundation for an EMR that is fit for clinical review. The knock on effect of a laboratory that utilizes an Information System that provides optimized workflows, is a real time and accurate EMR, which, in turn, reduces costs and improves patient safety, not only from the laboratory’s perspective, but also from an overall healthcare perspective. Having streamlines laboratory processes


feeding into an EMR paves the way for the development of EMR interoperability standards. This issue is at the forefront of the national healthcare agenda, thus allowing for steps in sharing patient information between all health care facilities, which are necessary for timely, patient-centric, portable care. ■


ML


 REFERENCES References available on request (magazine@informa.com)


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