Discovering the Cure for Non-Interfaced Lab Results

Aurora Health Care is an integrated health system including 15 hospitals, more than 150 clinics and a Medical Group of over 2600 primary care and specialty providers serving Eastern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.

Aurora processed a significant number of lab tests not performed at Aurora for several reasons, including: patients referred to Aurora specialists by non-Aurora provider(s), patients preference and convenience, patients receiving care from non-Aurora providers.

Processing paper-based, scanned lab results was extremely demanding and consumed clinical staff’s attention and resources.

In 2009, Aurora sought a way to pull paper results into their lab interface in order to eliminate paper-based results completely while removing the slow and laborious, manual data-entry process. At first, Aurora scanned documents into the EMR, requiring providers to open up scanned documents to view results; but what providers really wanted was to have discrete, trendable lab results in one central location.

 

ACTION

Aurora partnered with Extract to design an automated clinical data extraction solution to meet requirements and solve the external lab-result dilemma, forming their personally customized Extract Systems™ Platform.

Aurora’s core objectives that helped construct the clinical data extraction solution were to:

  • Enhance physician satisfaction and efficiency
  • Assure a high quality of entered lab results
  • Allow physicians to track and trend all results to improve care for patients
  • Decrease manual data entry time and expand the entry of lab results
  • Eliminate the need for repeat lab results—decreasing the cost of healthcare
  • Meet Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ) measures

The Extract Systems™ Platform automatically identifies actionable clinical data, extracts it, structures it, pre-validates it and presents data to a reviewer on staff. After review, data is automatically sent to fields in the Epic EMR so it appears in the same format, just like internal lab results. Implementation was smooth and the use of the software was easy.

“Extract’s support team listened to concerns and worked
to adjust and perfect the process during the testing phase.”

 

RESULTS

Overall, Aurora saw a 366% increase in documents processing from 2011 to 2016, with over 71,000 documents in seven hubs. With the Extract Systems™ Platform, Aurora processed over 189,000 orders with over 1.4 million test components into Epic in 2016 alone. Extract provided an error rate fewer than 1% which reduced the amount of quality assurance required.

Before the Extract Systems™ Platform, Aurora’s staff was manually entering approximately eight orders per hour and saw a 78% increase in productivity, processing 14.25 order per hour. Since Aurora started, the number of labs have drastically increased and are being entered through Extract.

Physician decisions are no longer delayed because of inefficiencies in paper-based workflows. Physicians no longer have to look through stacks of paper or search scanned images for critical data points. Patients’ lab results are in the EMR and accessible to all providers, not just the ordering physician. The Extract Systems™ Platform has reduced data entry staff time by 40%. This has freed up highly trained staff for “human” analytical work, increasing employee satisfaction and retention

"Productivity and usage statistics are provided in the Extract Systems™ Platform which is a huge benefit. Providers are not ordering duplicate lab studies due to availability of external lab results."

 

Definitions

Documents: One document contains a lab report for one patient, maybe one or more pages, may contain one or more orders

Orders: Series of lab test components that make up a defined order in Epic (i.e. CBS, BMP, etc.)

Test Components: These are the actual results with test name, result value, unit of measure, reference range, flag (i.e. RBC, WBC, A1C, etc.)

 

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About the Author: Chantel Soumis

Chantel Soumis represents the Marketing Department at Extract as Marketing Manager. Chantel studied marketing communications and business administration at Franklin University and proceeded to work in a fast, ambitious environment, assuring client delight in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Passionate about project productivity and streamlining workflows through the use of technology, Chantel strives to inform organizations of Extract’s advanced OCR solution by mastering communications and messaging while delivering helpful information and supporting resources.