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Industry Insight

Most Pennsylvania Labs Capable of Sending Test Results Electronically
The Pennsylvania eHealth Collaborative recently released a study that shows most laboratories operating in the state are capable of sending test results electronically. The collaborative is working to ensure that all eligible providers in Pennsylvania have at least one option for receiving structured lab results.

“It is encouraging to see that labs in Pennsylvania are sending lab results electronically,” says Robert Torres, Pennsylvania’s HIT coordinator. “We know from previous research studies that health information exchange [HIE] can increase efficiency, improve quality and safety of care, reduce costs, and make care more convenient for patients.”

The survey, conducted earlier this year, captured data from 93% (480) of Pennsylvania’s 516 independent labs and hospital-associated critical care labs. Of the responding labs, 80% (384) stated that they are electronically transmitting lab results. Another 7% (34) plan to do so in the future.

Most labs that are exchanging information are using either a Web portal or a hub. A small number are using point-to-point exchange. Most labs indicated they have more than one delivery method available to them.

The study also showed that while labs are exchanging information electronically, most of the responding labs were not familiar with the broader concept of an HIE. HIE is defined by national and Pennsylvania standards as the electronic movement of health-related information among unaffiliated organizations according to nationally recognized standards. Pennsylvania was awarded $17.1 million under the ARRA to help establish an HIE.

“As the eHealth Collaborative moves forward, we will continue to work with labs to assist them in extending their ability to share lab results with providers in rural and underserved areas and to create new options to connect where needed,” Torres says. “This is in keeping with our statewide plan of creating a ‘network of networks.’“

According to the study, 37% of labs (36 of 97) not currently exchanging healthcare information electronically are planning to go electronic at some point in the future. Of those, 31% (11 of 36) plan to go electronic within the next six months; 33% (12 of 36) plan to go electronic in the next seven to 12 months; and 36% (13 of 36) plan to go electronic later than the next 12 months. The eHealth Collaborative will reach out to these labs in the coming months to check on their plans and help them address any obstacles they may encounter.

Also, 13% (61 of 480) of labs stated that they did not plan to move to electronic exchange of lab results. The reasons they gave included cost, lack of technology expertise or interest, and concerns about privacy and security of electronic transactions.

The eHealth Collaborative will continue to communicate with all labs in the state to encourage use of electronic HIE.

— Source: Pennsylvania Office of Administration


SAIC Completes Acquisition of maxIT Healthcare
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) recently announced it has completed the acquisition of maxIT Healthcare Holdings, Inc, an HIT consulting firm based in Westfield, Indiana.

maxIT Healthcare provides a range of HIT services and solutions primarily to commercial hospital groups and other medical delivery organizations. These include IT strategy and planning, EHR implementation and optimization, and management consulting across a broad range of activities such as accountable care transformation.

Approximately 1,300 employees from maxIT Healthcare have joined SAIC’s Health Solutions Business Unit.

The acquisition strengthens SAIC’s capabilities to provide EHR implementation and integration services to its base of federal healthcare customers as they move toward the use of commercial off-the-shelf EHR applications. It also enables SAIC to leverage its expertise in systems integration, health sciences, and advanced data analytics to assist providers as they begin to personalize and deliver value-based healthcare.

— Source: Science Applications International Corporation


Just Associates Appoints Mosis as Senior Consultant
Just Associates, Inc, a consulting firm specializing in data integrity and data quality solutions for healthcare organizations, has appointed Monica Mosis, RHIA, as its senior consultant. In this role, Mosis will work with Just Associates’ clients on a wide range of data integrity projects.

Prior to joining Just Associates, Mosis served as the director of HIM at St Anthony North Hospital in Westminster, Colorado. There she successfully led the organization through the implementation of the MEDITECH EHR system and reengineered all processes, resulting in improved efficiencies and quality of services. She also served as senior HIM consultant for Axolotl Corporation (now OptumInsight), managing implementation of the Epic EHR and EMC Documentum document imaging systems.

— Source: Just Associates, Inc


Medical Center Selects Health Language for ICD-10, HIE Projects
Health Language, Inc (HLI), which is involved in healthcare terminology management, recently announced that Duke University Health System selected its LEAP I-10 tool to support their ICD-10 remediation project. The health system will use the HLI Language Engine to provide a terminology foundation for the system’s health information exchange (HIE) and data warehousing projects.

Duke University Health System selected HLI due to the company’s core competency in healthcare terminology management, advanced mapping interfaces, and support for a wide range of terminologies that enable the following:

• analyzing historical claims data to identify areas of potential reimbursement risk and prioritizing ICD-10 coding needs;

• reducing costs associated with transitioning providers from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets;

• mapping and normalizing data from disparate sources to better facilitate HIE; and

• strengthening analytics from data warehousing projects by mapping data to standard terminologies to increase access to patient data and improve quality of reporting.

— Source: Health Language, Inc