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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Information Technology and Quality
Improvement

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What electronic lab exchange capabilities will I need to implement?

One objective for clinical lab capabilities is included on the menu set for Stage 1.  

Menu Objective for Eligible Professionals and Eligible Hospitals:  

  • Incorporate clinical lab-test results into certified EHR technology as structured data.  

Measure:

  • More than 40 percent of all clinical lab tests results ordered by an eligible professional or by an authorized provider or the eligible hospital for patients admitted to its inpatient or emergency department during the EHR reporting period whose results are either in a positive/negative or numerical format are incorporated in certified EHR technology as structured data.  

Exclusion:

  • Any eligible professional who orders no lab tests whose results are neither in a positive/negative or numerical format during the EHR reporting period.

All certified EHRs will have the ability to electronically receive clinical laboratory test results in a structured format and display such results in a readable format that enables a human to comprehend the information regardless of the method of presentation, e.g., handheld device, computer screen, electronic document.  The EHR will electronically display all the information for a test report and electronically attribute, associate, or link a laboratory test result to a laboratory order or patient record.  Note that this objective pertains only to receiving results in a structured format and incorporating them into EHRs.  This objective also holds for authorized providers of eligible hospitals for patients admitted to its inpatient or emergency department.

Related Resources:

Expert Panel Recommendations: Lab Data go to exit disclaimer– Quality Alliance Steering Committee brief on laboratory data that can be collected electronically.
Electronic Laboratory Result Exchange go to exit disclaimer– Article describing systems of electronic laboratory exchange.  

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