CDC: Lab Staff Essential To Ensure Efficacy of EHR Data

May 20, 2014 in News

Laboratory professionals are essential to reducing patient safety risks by ensuring patients’ electronic health record data are accurate and effective, according to a CDC report, Clinical Innovation Technology reports (Walsh, Clinical Innovation Techonology, 5/19).

Details of Report

In the report, CDC aimed to:

  • Explain the seriousness of interoperability problems among laboratory data and demonstrate discrepancies in EHR systems; and
  • Propose areas for laboratory professionals to focus on in an effort to resolve such issues (CDC, “The Essential Role of Laboratory Professionals,” May 2014).

Researchers found that data issues related to interoperability and usability can result in preventable patient safety risks, according to Health Data Management.

Recommendations

In an effort to avoid such risks, CDC recommends that laboratory professionals focus on:

  • Engagement;
  • Data integrity and usability; and
  • Innovation.

Specifically, the report suggests that laboratory professionals:

  • Offer guidance and expertise for health IT decision-making in the design, creation and management of EHR systems at both local and national levels;
  • Ensure that laboratory data are correctly presented in the EHR and accessible when a patient needs care; and
  • Partner with industry stakeholders to encourage innovations in EHR technology and usability in an effort to reduce data-related errors stemming from the use of EHR systems.

The paper states that “[l]aboratory professionals have a unique opportunity to help create health IT systems that enable optimized health care decision making, improve the timeliness, consistency and quality of care, add value for providers and patients, and save lives.”

Researchers added, “To do so, laboratory professionals can educate themselves on the promises and pitfalls of EHR systems, and proactively engage in creating the solutions essential to sustaining the transformation of the U.S. health care system” (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 5/19).

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