Electronic lab orders can save practices 90 minutes a day

As adoption of certified electronic health records (EHRs) continues to increase, more office-based physicians are setting up electronic laboratory ordering to help increase practice efficiency. By eliminating the manual processes associated with paper-based orders, electronic lab ordering in an EHR saves time, improves order accuracy and drives better patient care.

Saves time

Electronic lab order results arrive over 50% faster after replacing paper-driven, labor-intensive orders with computerized physician order entry (CPOE), according to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. In 2012, the U.S. Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology surveyed almost 1,800 physicians who were demonstrating the meaningful use of an EHR and found that 75% received lab results faster.

Electronic ordering saves this family practice up to 8 hours each week

Dr. Daniel Singleton of Marion Family Medicine in Buena Vista, Georgia saves 1.5 hours a day just by ordering lab tests from his EHR. “I can’t imagine it being any simpler” he said.

Until last October, Dr. Singleton was passing handwritten orders to staff, who then manually entered them into their system. However, his practice struggled to keep up.

“I don’t have time, the nurses don’t have time,” Dr. Singleton said. However, after activating electronic lab orders in his EHR, he now can submit most lab orders directly from a patient’s chart in just four clicks.

“I save about an hour to an hour and a half of staff time a day,” he said. Electronic Lab Ordering

Improves accuracy

Switching to electronic lab orders from paper-based orders reduced errors by 90%, according to a report published in Studies in Health Technology and Informatics. Electronic lab ordering from an EHR eliminates handwriting legibility errors, lost orders and double-entry.

Drives better care

Electronic lab ordering from an EHR can consolidate past orders and results in your patient’s chart. Without having to search through paper charts or switch between different lab systems, you can quickly view which orders haven’t been completed to help track patient adherence.

You can also evaluate each value in the context of historic results with flowsheets, helping track patient health and chronic conditions more easily.

Learn more about the benefits of electronic lab ordering

Visit our resource center to explore all the ways electronic ordering can streamline your practice’s lab workflows, and learn how to easily request electronic ordering with a lab.

You can also read our guide on lab ordering to get the most out of your EHR. Spending 10 minutes with this guide can save you up to 8 hours every week.