Focus on: Electronic Health Records: Laboratory Professionals Have Key Role to Play In Developing Safer EHR Systems
Laboratory professionals can contribute to the development of safer electronic health record (EHR) systems through engagement, data integrity and usability, and innovation, according to a new white paper from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The development of EHR systems and other health information technologies (HITs) is changing how laboratory data are transmitted and displayed throughout the health care system. Thoughtfully designed and rigorously tested EHR systems improve patient care by making it easier to collect, share, and interpret patient data, notes the CDC in the paper, “The Essential Role of Laboratory Professionals: Ensuring the Safety and Effectiveness of Laboratory Data in Electronic Health Record Systems.” Examples of preventable safety risks include misdiagnosis, delays in treatment, and inappropriate treatment. Nationwide efforts are under way to implement EHR systems that can seamlessly exchange health information to improve patient care and, ultimately, health outcomes. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are promoting this development through two sets of regulations: the ONC’s EHR Standards and Certification Criteria and the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. As the percentage of providers using EHR systems has significantly increased over the […]
- »Serve on policy and standards federal advisory committees and the numerous workgroups that support the ONC health care initiatives.
- »Monitor and submit comments on proposed rules and guidelines related to EHR implementation.
- »Work with ONC, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and other policy, certification, and standards development organizations to determine opportunities for collaboration.
- »Engage with EHR developers on the development and design of laboratory-related EHR system features, such as critical results alerts.
- »Provide laboratory expertise for assessing and improving the interoperability and usability of EHR systems at both organizational and national levels.
- »Facilitate rigorous assessment of the usability of laboratory test ordering and reporting functions in the EHR for high-risk patient testing.
- »Champion collaborative efforts and support research agendas to provide more detail on laboratory data-related patient safety concerns in the EHR.
- »Collaborate with human factor engineers, EHR system interface designers, and others to advance innovation and the usability of laboratory data displays.
- »Encourage participation in EHR system assessments and voluntary reporting of EHR-related issues to PSOs.
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