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Development and Implementation of a New Process for Handling Add-On Lab Orders

by Helgeson-Britton, Pam

Abstract: At SMDC Health System’s Duluth Clinic-Ashland, additional lab tests ordered by providers were not communicated to the laboratory in a standardized, efficient manner. Once a sample had been drawn and tested, the electronic health record system did not recognize the addition of another lab test to it. The clinical assistant or physician had to contact the lab by phone or e-mail to add a test. Many times the lab was not notified of the added test. This occurred approximately 37 percent of the time and resulted in additional work, wasted time, and decreased customer satisfaction. A project was launched seeking to submit 99 percent of all add-on lab orders correctly at Duluth Clinic–Ashland through the use of an efficient, effective process.

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