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code-check feature will also help to reduce the lab’s accounts receivable time (ART) by providing an additional level of billing claim review prior to claim submission to insurance. And it saves the patient the headache and potential fi nancial burden associated with denied claims.

Keys to a successful implementation For CHS staff , the key to a success- ful implementation was preparation and communication. T ey involved all stakeholders in the process and did their homework beforehand, so that when the implementation team arrived, they could begin building the LIS according to CHS’ specifi c needs. They also developed a contingency plan to account for the possibility of inter- rupted workfl ow. While the goal is to have a seamless implementation, you should always assume there will be interruptions and plan accordingly. Make sure your staff knows what to do in case of interruptions, and you will be ahead of the game. CHS also has a long-term vision. “We see technology con- tinuing to help us improve our productivity and patient care,” says Stevens. “Merge LIS is helping us do that now, and we see even more potential with technology in the future, such as cloud applications. For example, we see many ‘snowbirds’ in our community. Someday soon, I envision their patient data being available to our physicians, which will only improve our ability to care for them as they spend winters here in Myrtle Beach.”

Do your homework What should you consider when selecting an LIS vendor?

First, you need to decide what’s most important for your organization. Is it to be more effi cient or more productive? How important is ease of use? Cost? Scalability? “As obvious as it sounds, do your homework – watch product demos, ask questions,” says Stevens. “Because you can fi nd a system that has everything you are looking for.” Do not forget to explore technical support with your ven-

dor. “When a system goes down, it aff ects everyone; therefore, you need a support team that is quick and reliable,” Stevens says. “Get to know your support team and develop a relation- ship. It will be worth its weight in gold.”

What to look for in an LIS: • Web based: Must provide anywhere, anytime access to lab information and results.

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• Interconnectivity: Must interface with reference labs and immediately funnel results into EMR, thereby removing manual work/human error. • Scalability: Must be fl exible enough to expand with the organization as it grows.

• Intuitive: Look for a system that has easy-to-use screens and menus that make training quick and painless.

• Security: Must provide ability to see who’s accessed what fi les and customize access to specifi c patient reports for different locations or providers.

HMT Index of Advertisers Advertiser Page

athenahealth ...................................................... IFC CDW ...............................................................14-15 McKesson Paragon HIS ........................................ 9 Rubbermaid Medical Solutions ...........................BC

The SSI Group, Inc. ............................................... 3 This index is provided as a service.

The publisher does not assume liability for errors or omissions. HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY February 2013 27

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