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Paper Lab Results Posing Hindrance For E-Health Care System

Paper Lab Results Posing Hindrance For E-Health Care System

One of the many aspects of developing an electrical health record system is to digitalize all the laboratory tests results nationwide. An executive who has taken the initiative of implementing such developmental plan blames paper lab results posing hindrance for E-health care system for recording the laboratory data of the patients. He says, to a health policy panel, that in spite of their effort of digitalizing the health record system, the major portion of laboratory are issuing laboratory results in paper format.

This information is revealed by Micky Tripathi, who is the co-chair of information exchange workgroup of Information technology policy committee. According to him, out of about 200,000 medical laboratories involved in the medical laboratory testing, most of them do not use standards in case of medical test result reports. According to Tripathi, who is in this panel for setting electronic health record policies, even at the time of electronically exchanging the medical information, they are not using standards set by the panel. Most of these 200,000 laboratories comprising 115,000 in office of the clinicians, 5200 commercial laboratories, 8500 hospital laboratories, are still issuing paper lab results posing hindrance for E-health care system.

Laboratories using electronic message system functions differently than labs issuing paper lab results posing hindrance for E-health care system. While the latter using the old conventional way of issuing laboratory results, the laboratories equipped with electronic message system work with a clinical vocabulary stored in software format containing more than 40,000 terms, according to Tripathi, who is also CEO and President of Massachusetts E-Health Collaborative.

Tripathi stressed the importance on strict adherence to the standards set for electronic messaging. These standards are set by the Health Level Seven Standard Organization so the ambitious project of the setting a national electronic E-health record system as opposed to issuing paper lab results posing hindrance for E-health care system can meet the success levels. He also stressed that while being adherent to the standards, the laboratories should not venture in to developing their personal modification to the software. He also stressed on the importance of the range of number of vocabulary to be used. According to him the laboratories should not exceed the number from 400 to 700 terms as he believes that this range of terms can cover almost 90 percent of the work done by them.

The Health Information Technology or HIT in its abbreviated form is acting as a federally chartered advisory group to the HHS. This policy committee has agreed to the policy that makes the Health and Human Service Office of NCHIT essential to require a national standard in regards to laboratory messaging as well as medical vocabulary. At the same time to facilitate a speedy accessibility to the laboratory results, federal regulation is necessary, as believed by David McGraw, who is the other co-chairman of information exchange work group. It is also stressed that a national E-health record system is essential so that the information can be exchanged among all clinicians and hospitals through a national health information network.

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