New group looks to link lab results with EHR

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The EHR-Lab Interoperability and Connectivity Standards (ELINCS) project is developing a national standard for the real-time reporting and linkage of lab results to electronic health records (EHRs), according to a release.

The ELINCS project's goal is to roll out the new standard in six to nine months. The next step would be for the standard to then be adopted by electronic health record vendors as well as laboratories across the country.

"The ability to access lab results in real-time means that physicians should be able to make medically appropriate decisions earlier in the course of patient care than with the current lab notification process," said ELINCS steering committee member John Tooker, MD, MBA, FACP. "The ELINCS national standard may also spur adoption of electronic health record technology as physicians realize the tangible benefits of timely access to laboratory results and reduced installation and configuration costs."

ELINCS plans to work with the other various national and international projects currently being developed for clinical data standards for EHRs to ensure widespread adoption of the standards. Similar projects include the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT); Connecting for Health (Markle Foundation); eHealth Initiative (eHI); DOQ-IT (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services); Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE); Public Health Information Network (CDC/PHIN); and Health Level Seven (HL7).

ELINCS is supported by the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF).