Speed and security

The essentials of clinical lab report distribution

According to estimates, approximately 80 percent of clinician’s diagnoses are based on laboratory analysis. Doctors and healthcare professionals require fast access to accurate reports on which to base their treatments, patients want more access to their medical information so that they can make informed decisions. Clinical labs need the ability to get the right reports to the right people at the right time. Using a Cloud-based clinical lab report distribution service – like OpenText™ MedNX – provides a secure and cost-effective solution.

The global market for clinical lab services is set to grow to $146 billion by 2022. This growth is being driven by two trends. The first is the emergence of many new tests – especially in the field of genomics – that are helping improve patient outcomes. The second trend is the increasing referral of patient samples for testing. In the UK alone, every person has an average of 14 clinical laboratory tests each year. These have to be processed and the results returned in a timely manner.

First, do no harm

The first thing that every medical student learns is the simple phrase: ‘first, do no harm’. When it comes to clinical testing, this phrase could easily be about the quality and accuracy of the test results. This is undoubtedly vital. However, research suggests that one thing is more important than the accuracy of the results: The quality of the distribution.

A global study by the Commonwealth Fund found that producing the right result but not delivering it to the right place on time caused twice as much reported harm as an incorrect result.

According to The Pathologist magazine: “Lab personnel can work really hard to optimize a method and obtain a completely accurate result, but all of that work can be a complete waste of time if we can’t do the simple task of getting the result to where it is needed, when it is needed. How much effort do we put into getting the result right, and how much effort do we put into making sure that someone actually sees it in time and does something about it?”

The onus is on laboratories to implement a clinical report distribution service that’s fast, secure and compliant. Cloud-based services like OpenText MedNX provide users with report delivery – using the Internet, dial-up or fax – with automatic format conversion. The service should support a wide variety of end-point devices in remote locations such as physician offices and local healthcare centers.

Key benefits of a cloud-based lab report distribution service

Speed and accuracy are key considerations for all laboratories. You’re increasingly faced with complex technology, regulation and infrastructure that your existing systems have not been designed to handle. Moving to a cloud-based lab report distribution services allows you to enhance the security and scalability of your reporting capabilities, while moving to a predictable and repeatable pricing model.

The benefits of adopting a distribution service like OpenText MedNX include:

  • Fast and automated distribution of lab results with virtually no limit of file size
  • Support for a variety of file types, and dynamic conversion to the file type needed at the remote site.
  • Flexible delivery options and methods, including; remote printing, fax, and electronic file delivery to EMRs.
  • Reliable delivery, including confirmation of delivery, real-time tracking, and detailed status feedback
  • Secure report delivery that meets strict industry encryption standards for data in transit and data at rest
  • Support for self-services capabilities so that physicians and healthcare workers can choose when and where they receive and access reports

Using this type of distribution services means a laboratory doesn’t need to know the technical capabilities to the receiving site. You simply send the file via the cloud and it’s automatically transmitted in a way that the receiver can accept. In addition, if the receiver experiences connection issues the file will be automatically resent using dial-up or fax. This ensures that the right people can always get the results they need when they need them.

Beyond PAMA: Reducing costs and improving efficiency

With the implementation of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA), clinical laboratories are facing serious reductions in their reimbursement for testing. For instance, the new National Limitation Amounts (NLA) in the 2018 Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS) mean an average 35% decrease in reimbursement for most tests. All laboratories have to increase their focus on business efficiency and cost reduction.

Using a cloud-based lab report distribution service can help clinical laboratories to adapt to PAMA. Cost reduction benefits include:

  • Eliminating the costs related to maintenance and support of an on-premise report distribution infrastructure, while improving technology and service capabilities
  • Scaling to any transmission volume level without the need for additional capital or personnel investment
  • Eliminating the dedicated outbound and remote telecommunication costs associated an on-premise report distribution infrastructure

On top of the cost benefits, you have a distribution platform build to support the highest levels of information security and regulatory compliance. A cloud-based lab report distribution service ensures that you can quickly and securely exchange information with your customers and partners.

To find out more about OpenText MedNX and how a cloud-based lab report distribution service can help your business, please contact us.

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Erik Enderson

Erik Enderson is a Senior Manager, Product Marketing for the OpenText Business Network division. He has more than 18 years of experience in the B2B technology sector and 10 years of experience with OpenText fax solutions.

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