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.
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 most had 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.
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.