May 10, 2018

Top 6 Challenges Faced By Physician Office Labs

At Relaymed, we believe that in order to be truly innovative at physician office labs, we have to face the…

At Relaymed, we believe that in order to be truly innovative at physician office labs, we have to face the most pressing healthcare problems head-on — creating efficiencies in place of uncompensated tasks. Breakthrough drugs can treat disease but we have to go a step further — to promote good health and prevent disease.

Understanding the issues that our clients face is of paramount importance in achieving this goal. Recently, we sent out a survey in order to understand the most significant pain points that they endure on a daily basis and how Relaymed fits into the solution.

With this insight, we were able to compile a list of the key challenges faced by physician office labs, whether they’re running CLIA-waived or moderately / highly complex tests. These challenges are part of the greater balancing act of adding value and volume while reducing cost. By understanding these challenges, we can continue to ensure that Relaymed is harnessing POC connectivity to make the physician practice an efficient and modern place to work.

We found that the 6 key challenges presented by point-of-care testing are:

  1. Standardizing workflow
  2. Providing efficient and quality patient care
  3. Ease of technology
  4. Regulation and governance
  5. Security
  6. Interoperability

1. Standardizing Workflow

Through expansion and acquisition, physician practice groups and enterprise organizations generally have multiple locations to manage. However, without standardized workflows, difficulties emerge from ensuring that the quality of care is consistent across the group.

Relaymed can play a huge role in standardizing workflows through the automation of POC results. This benefits the quality of care across a practice groups locations.

It also has a huge impact on staff training. More automation allows for much simpler staff training, that focuses on value-adding tasks as opposed to more administrative procedures. Compare this to a laboratory information system (LIS), which is notoriously complex and time consuming to train staff how to use.

2. Efficient & Quality Patient Care

Physician office staff spend too much time on uncompensated busywork that bares no relevance to caregiving—such as prior authorizations, EHR data entry, and non-clinical paperwork. This neglection of workflow efficiency can cost practices $50,000, or more, in lost revenue per annum. It’s also detrimental to the quality of care that patients receive, resulting in a negative experience.

While it’s impossible to entirely eliminate uncompensated tasks, by automating lab workflows with Relaymed, disruptions are kept to a minimum, allowing physicians to focus on value-adding tasks.

Results are transmitted from the point-of-care device directly into the patient’s EHR, ensuring that appointments and treatment can continue without delay. This improves patient care and protects revenues for the practice, as physicians can see more patients expeditiously. Patients are then more satisfied with the faster service that they receive.

3. Ease of Technology

Technology that’s designed to improve workflow efficiency shouldn’t be difficult to use. Many point-of-care solutions, such as an LIS, are prohibitively complex for use in a physician’s practice and don’t optimize efficiency. They simply aren’t designed for ambulatory care. In order to truly improve practice efficiency, technology should be seamless and effective. It shouldn’t require significant training, education or manual labor.

Relaymed is an invisible, cloud-based middleware. It works seamlessly in the background, with no need for additional hardware. In fact, users should barely realize that they’re actually using it — avoiding yet another feature on their crowded lab interface. Imagine that! One less highly time-consuming task to think about.

4. Regulation & governance

A key concern in running point-of-care testing is adherence to CLIA regulations (as well as other state requirements). Data must be complete and accurate before it can be submitted to insurance carriers and Medicare. Otherwise, practices face the reproval of governing bodies, such as CLIA inspectors, and/or insurance providers. This can lead to significant loss of revenue if not handled appropriately.

However, Relaymed has this under control. It stores all test and QC results. And we mean that — 100% of test results and quality controls from a connected device are digitally logged automatically. Also, without human transcription errors, results are guaranteed to be accurate too (again, with 100% certainty). This is a compelling benefit that will protect your revenues and save you from dreaded audit anxiety. Any audit requirements can instead be met with the click of a button.

5. Security

Taking on a new technological solution should never be a security concern. While results have to be present and accurate, this data also needs to be secure—particularly with the increasing risk of data hacks.

We put cybersecurity, privacy, and compliance at the top of our priorities. Nothing is more important. Period.

As a result, Relaymed is fully HIPAA compliant, so that stakeholders have total peace of mind. We have a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) in place with all of our clients too, as is required for HIPAA compliance.

Furthermore, our systems are HITRUST CSF assured. This is the most widely adopted security control framework in US healthcare.

6. Interoperability

The claim of interoperability is regularly made throughout healthcare tech. But is this claim always genuine? Quite simply: no.

The goal is to create an interconnected healthcare environment, where new devices are made smart and insert seamlessly into a practice’s workflow. Adding yet another device or application that doesn’t speak with existing devices in the practice goes entirely against this idea. A practice can’t replace all their existing technology to accommodate something new.

Data shares between different organizations and providers are also vital to an efficient care continuum.

Relaymed makes interoperability a reality, by connecting the currently disparate worlds of point-of-care device and EHR vendors. This is an ongoing mission, as we continually add more to our compatibility list, supporting the idea of interoperability by modernizing practices. With access to several data points—including UAs, A1c, CBCs, flu, and chemistries—we can help improve healthcare nationwide.

Let Relaymed Help

We were delighted to discover that Relaymed goes a long way to alleviating the most common pain points that are found in the modern day practice. We can help your practice with these pain points too.

Plus, for such a simple solution, there sure is a lot more to it than this! Discover the benefits Relaymed brings to primary care and make your practice masters of workflow efficiency.


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