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Incorporating electronic laboratory and radiology orders into your EHR can save time

Written by: Tom Pasquariello, PharmD

Have you been spending numerous hours ordering laboratory tests and radiology exams manually? By eliminating the manual processes associated with paper or faxed orders, electronic ordering through the Practice Fusion electronic health record (EHR) can improve accuracy.1 A report published in Studies in Health Technology and Informatics found that switching to electronic lab orders from paper-based orders reduced errors by 90%.1</sup> Invest more time in direct patient care by learning how easy the ordering process via Practice Fusion.

One key component to a superior integration module is interoperability between various laboratory and radiology vendors and the medical practice generating orders.2 Practice Fusion’s cloud-based EHR is connected with hundreds of regional and local labs, including national partners.3 After completion and transmission of the order, the results should be easily uploaded and retrieved.

Rather than having patients call the office numerous times asking if their results are available, empower them with the opportunity to view those electronically through the patient portal to save time.3 A clinician can view the results in the EHR and allow permission to release that information to the patient portal. Some are set up to send an email or text to the patient when new data is available to view so that patient does not have to continuously login.

The results are easily comprehensible through a key explaining expected norms for each test completed.2 Clinicians and patients can both quickly understand the results often with results that are out of the specified ranges highlighted. The clinician will also get an additional notification that displays to help ensure a potential problem does not go unattended.

Another way to save time is through the use of templates that allow frequently used panels to easily be re-ordered. This serves as a quick list which is helpful for specialists that often prescribe the same tests for many patients. Tracking patient adherence through flowsheets can help to identify chronic conditions more easily along with a better understanding of how a patient is progressing. Viewing historical patient data alongside the current data is an important aspect that can establish baseline parameters.

As a pharmacist, I fully understand the importance of having the tools needed to meet the needs of the clients and promote patient safety. As a patient, I utilize my chart all the time as it is convenient. I highly encourage Practice Fusion users to get started today by watching our webinar: Optimizing your EHR workflow with lab ordering. Along with the webinar, there are additional resources available to help your practice get the most from your EHR.