Most lab results at Nevada Regional Medical Center, in Nevada, Missouri, now automatically appear in the electronic health record (EHR), after the hospital implemented lab autoverification in Cerner’s PathNet®. The process sped up turnaround time, the time it takes to run lab samples and post results into the EHR. In addition, it reduced the risk for errors.
Previously, after lab tests reached completion, lab technicians manually entered test results into the EHR. After implementation in January 2017, most test results automatically upload into the EHR without any human intervention. An employee only steps in when the system indicates an irregular result.
Bobby Daugherty, director of laboratory services, used the system and found it quite helpful.
“I worked an evening by myself, and it was busy,” he said. “But, I was able to get results turned out in a very timely fashion because of autoverification. This allowed me to multitask.”
Before autoverification, turnaround time for the basic metabolic panel took an average of 23 minutes.1 After autoverification, it fell to a little more than 18 minutes.2
Time savings doesn’t just benefit employees, but patients as well.
“Results get to the patients faster,” said Daugherty. “Many physicians adjust blood thinner medication, and they want to get it done during the day. We also have the patient portal where patients can go online and review their lab results. We can get those results to the patient quicker.”
Decreasing lab turnaround times for a troponin test is one of the biggest benefits for patients. Physicians request troponin tests for patients with chest pain and other heart symptoms and make care decisions based on those results.
While the average turnaround time fell from 28.3 minutes1 to 27.7 minutes2, employees say those seconds are crucially important.
“We can get the treatments they need to save heart tissue and potentially save the patient’s life. This is a phenomenal improvement in care,” said Holly Bush, chief quality officer.
In addition to a quicker turnaround time, scaling back the manual process can decrease error risk.
“Anytime you can reduce human intervention, you can reduce error rates,” said Bush. “Autoverification helps them to be more productive while reducing their risk for errors.”
Autoverification also provides a boost for smaller health systems without a large staff.
“As a rural hospital, we have a minimal amount of staff working at night. Autoverification allows us to run samples at night, helping us multitask and freeing up time where we can focus on the patients,” said Daugherty.
Daugherty said other hospitals should consider doing the same.
“I’ve talked to other facilities that are interested in doing autoverification. It’s a great tool,” he said.
For more information about best practices for autoverification and lab turnaround times, visit our Model Experience page.
1 November 2016 - January 2017
2 February 2017 - August 2017