Predating physician orders

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Incorporating the lab results as structured data is not required in Stage 1, but it is proposed as a core (required) measure in demonstrating “Meaningful Use” in Stage 2: Deploying an EHR without capturing laboratory data would be like trying to make a diagnosis with only 30 percent of the diagnostic data.

In today’s physician’s office lab and clinic environment, the traditional methods of paper requisitions and printed lab reports are still employed.

Labs immediately realized an increase in efficiency and accuracy and an easing of regulatory compliance.

Even with these successes, administrators quickly recognized the inefficiencies and additional costs of having separate islands of information that did not speak to one another.

These first-generation systems were housed in the laboratory on a single centralized computer.

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Meaningful Use (MU): EHR incentive program The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) determines what constitutes a “meaningful user,” while the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) defines what constitutes a “certified system.” See Figure 2.Electronic health records Thus, the next phase of the evolution occurred with the creation of Electronic Health Records (EHR), initiating a new workflow.Electronic health records were designed to collect health information about patients in electronic format so information could be shared across the healthcare continuum.Laboratory Information Systems (LIS) were originally designed to organize data by communicating directly with analyzers.The first commercial LIS were introduced and developed in the 1980s by clinical analyzer manufacturers.

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