The digital transformation of clinical labs advances more quickly all the time. Modern pathology reporting software is evolving from specimen collection and analysis to data administration and reporting. While labs are the major winners in this race, patients are also reaping the rewards. This is particularly true with patient reporting and record keeping.
Thanks to advanced pathology lab reporting software and direct-to-consumer web portals, patient reports, once saved on paper, in triplicate, and limited to folders and filing cabinets, are now obtainable electronically for effortless access and sharing. The days of receiving information via postal carrier or telephone are also long gone. Instead, they can now be transmitted remotely to the lab’s clients and immediately to patients through web portals, with email and text messages alerting patients to review their results.
But, according to our experts on medical shipping services, technology isn’t the only specialty driving change; lab results reporting has also become more effortless because of revised rulings by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). In 2014, they issued a definitive rule allowing patients or their representatives immediate access to lab test reports after confirming their identities without requiring the tests to be sent to a health practitioner first. This ruling has developed significant efficiencies and has allowed labs to connect with patients instantly. It has also authorized patients to be more dynamic in their healthcare decisions.
What’s in a Lab Report and Why?
Although useful in many ways, more accessible test results also mean patients have greater responsibility. For example, they may experience detailed test results on lab reports without comprehending how providers use results to drive treatment conclusions. This mandates patients to familiarize themselves with their test results to better understand their purpose and significance, and pathology lab reporting software agents to work closely with their lab customers to devise customizable and more patient-friendly reports.
Many of the details included in most lab reports deal with managerial or clerical information, like patient name and identification number, the date the report was printed, test report date, the title of the doctor or legally qualified person ordering the test(s), and more. However, lab reports also contain complex items like lab accession number, type of test performed, test result, units of measure (for quantitative outcomes), reference intervals (or reference ranges), the specimen’s state, and much more. With so many variables, labs must execute pathology lab reporting software with reporting features that can be wholly customized but still constructed to enable patients to efficiently find and understand the test results.
The Significance of Laboratory Reporting Software with Customization
Not all software vendors deliver fully customizable lab reports, and labs with this ability are at a substantial advantage. The most customizable platforms feature high-performance reporting and distribution engines with rule-based configuration and consistent presentation. In addition, the engine sustains elements like the full-text richness of Word (layout, dimensions, shades, highlights, tables, bullet points, etc.), images, charts, annotation, macros, conditional rules, talk to text, and CAP cancer protocol templates.
Do you maintain the freedom to customize the patient info header with your existing laboratory reporting software? How about the diagnosis, comments, gross description, microscopic results, and patient history? Does your software permit you to enhance the reports with pictures and diagrams? If the response is no or primarily no to everything detailed above, you may want to investigate an alternative laboratory reporting software.
We hope this helps you better understand advances in lab reporting software. Contact us today for support with medical shipping services. We are here to help keep your lab successful!