CDC award boosts hospital labs’ ability to report results

Posted on February 22, 2011. Filed under: Health Informatics, Pathology, Public Hlth & Hlth Promotion | Tags: |

CDC award boosts hospital labs’ ability to report results
By Mary Mosquera
Monday, February 21, 2011

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded a grant to three organizations to help connect hospital laboratories with public health agencies so they can electronically transmit data on reportable laboratory results.

The three organizations — e-prescribing network Surescripts, the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the College of American Pathologists (CAP) — will provide the necessary technical assistance to enable hospital labs to begin transmitting results within six months, according to an announcement by Surescripts.

They will work together in what the CDC calls a “lab interoperability cooperative” to promote the exchange of test results and patient information to support meaningful use. 

During the two year grant period, AHA, Surescripts and CAP, which is the medical society for physicians and the laboratory community, will recruit, educate and connect a minimum of 500 hospital labs to the appropriate public health agencies.

At least 100 of the hospital labs will be critical access or rural hospitals, the groups involved said.

The CDC grant will help hospital laboratories meet criteria established by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT for meaningful use of EHRs, including submission of electronic data on reportable laboratory results to public health agencies.

While technical standards exist to enable the secure electronic exchange of lab results, few commercial labs, hospitals and providers use them. The lab cooperative will engage with hospital labs, which handle the majority of lab tests, to advance lab interoperability with public health agencies.

“As a result of this effort, hundreds of hospitals will engage in electronic reporting that helps public health act more rapidly and efficiently to control disease,” said Seth Foldy, director of CDC’s Public Health Informatics and Technology Program Office.”

…continues on the site

also reported here:

Project to assist hospital labs in submitting electronic data
February 21, 2011 | Molly Merrill, Associate Editor

“Surescripts, the American Hospital Association and the College of American Pathologists have been awarded a $4.9 million grant to launch a program to prepare hospitals to submit electronic data on reportable lab results to public health agencies – a Stage 1 requirement for meeting meaningful use incentives.

The grant from the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which was announced Monday, will allow the three organizations to work together in what the CDC calls a “Lab Interoperability Cooperative.”

During the two-year grant period, the AHA, CAP and Surescripts will recruit, educate and connect a minimum of 500 hospital labs – of which 100 are critical access or rural hospitals – to the appropriate public health agencies.

The network will support all federal and state policies and standards for health information exchange, including privacy and security standards (such as HIPAA and state law), technology interoperability standards (such as NHIN Direct and NHIN Exchange) and message types such as HL7.

The cooperative will provide technical assistance to enable hospital labs to begin transmitting lab results electronically within six months, but officials said that assistance has not yet been defined.

The AHA will take the lead on educating and reaching out to hospitals about the project.

The CAP will “actively leverage our relationships with its 17,000 pathologists,” said Debra J. Konicek, MSN, RN, BC, the college’s director of clinical consulting and mapping.

The goal of the project is to assist hospitals to electronically report a core set of 75-100 lab reports to public health agencies, said Konicek. Hospitals are already required to report this, but the network will prepare them to do it in real time, she said.”

…continues on the site

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