I was getting a demo of an EHR software a couple days ago and they were showing me the results area of the EHR. As I looked at the interface for the lab results it basically assumed there was a lab interface with the EHR. I imagine they have some way to manage scanned lab results for someone who doesn’t have a lab interface with their EHR, but I realized at that moment that lab interfaces are now just a standard with every EHR.
Are any EHR users not doing a lab interface?
I imagine there are some exceptions and some stragglers. I bet there are also quite a few places where the lab won’t interface with the EHR software or vice versa. It’s too bad when this is the case, but it’s understandable when an organization chooses not to do it if the EHR vendor and/or lab is charging them to create the interface.
With those exceptions in mind, I expect that most EHR implementations will have a lab interface. I remember on my first EHR implementation implementing the lab interface was one of the best decisions we made. It was hard work making sure that the lab interface worked properly since we had a custom lab interface done, but once we verified that the interface worked properly it was like manna from heaven.
Sure, lab interfaces can have their own quirks and downtime issues, but those times just remind you how nice it is when the interface does work (which should be most of the time).
I love to think that our EHR’s have gotten to the point where they can basically assume granular lab data. This is a very powerful thing and will become even more powerful over time. I’m sure people can point out plenty of issues with the quality of the lab data. I’d still rather we had data to talk about quality versus wishing we had data at all.