January 21, 2021

Use Electronic Laboratory Reporting to automate Covid reporting to your state

If you’re testing for Covid, you’re reporting to your state department of health. And this likely means a lot of…

If you’re testing for Covid, you’re reporting to your state department of health. And this likely means a lot of time consuming manual processes to avoid the risk of penalties. Eliminating this is what we’re all about, so we’ve been working hard on building Electronic Laboratory Reporting interfaces to state public health agencies.

Infectious disease reporting to public health agencies has always been required by law. However, this really hasn’t happened in the past and hasn’t been enforced. Covid is the newest on the list and has highlighted this deficiency as is a public health emergency. For contact tracing to operate, Covid test results and the contact details of patients must be reported, and fast. For the health of the patient, their family and wider community. This is exactly why enforcement has now followed.

How do facilities report now?

This can be summed up in a single word: painfully.

Manual processes are being relied upon ranging from fax (yes, people really still fax despite it no longer being 1980…), piecing together spreadsheets and manual data entry into web portals.

The solution to this pain is Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR).

What is Electronic Laboratory Reporting?

Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR) allows facilities to report test results for reportable infectious diseases through automated transmission to public health departments.

Why is Electronic Laboratory Reporting important?

ELR has many benefits, including improved speed of results, reduction of manual data entry errors, and reports that have more important details for contacting and surveillance.

But right now the most important reason is to help control the pandemic we’re in. Outbreaks need to be tracked and contacts traced so preventative measures can be taken to limit the spread and contain the disease.

With growing volumes of testing, manual processes for reporting just can’t keep up or be relied upon. It’s time to automate, making using an ELR process mission critical for facilities conducting Covid testing services.

And these test results (as both positive and negative are to be reported) give public health officials the vital data they need to make informed decisions. Are control measures working? Do they need to be stricter, or can they be relaxed? These decisions impact everyone. The direction these numbers are going in are important to our lives.

Why do facilities need help with ELR?

Quite simply because they are healthcare professionals, not software engineers!

This puts ELR out of the reach of physician practices, urgent care centers and others in ambulatory care. ELR was designed for big reference labs or hospital systems with teams who can handle it.

ELR is confusing and full of unfamiliar terms and technical jargon. Healthcare professionals should not need to worry about OBXs in HL7 2.5.1 or using https versus sftp….

But don’t worry, this is what we’re really good at.

What is Relaymed doing to help?

Relaymed is perfectly positioned to assist. As middleware we uniquely have access to all of the requisite data elements that must be reported from devices and the EHR.

And we have software engineers who can work with the variety of interfaces and methods as each state health department has their own preferred way to receive results.

So we’ve worked tirelessly with individual state health departments to build the interfaces, to take away the complexity, so our customers can enjoy all the benefits of electronic laboratory reporting.

Our solution: a seamless, automated reporting service. Not only does Relaymed put lab results automatically and securely into the EHR, at the same time the report is sent to the state health department. Simple.

Ready to learn more?

If you need to report Covid results and you’re not connecting with Relaymed, you’re wasting time and giving the opportunity for human error to sneak in. Take advantage of automation with Electronic Laboratory Reporting and contact us now.

Yes, I want to know more about ELR

Further Reading

You may also be interested in one of the following articles.