Hospitals who participate will benefit from the resources the LIC provide. As a result, participants may reach meaningful use goals more rapidly, knowing they have met the regulatory requirements for connectivity. Furthermore, participants will be equipped to confidently address future public health and clinical laboratory reporting requirements as meaningful use initiatives evolve.
The LIC provides resources to catalyze the improvement in electronic reporting connections to public health agencies. Hospitals participating receive data translation and technical support provided by the LIC. Specifically, the LIC will assist in data readiness support, including LOINC and SNOMED CT encoding and oversight, and validation of Meaningful Use ELR transactions.
Hospital laboratories can expect to see a variety of benefits from this program, including LOINC and SNOMED encoding of laboratory data, which provides semantic interoperability and identification of similar data for all downstream end users, such as doctors and public health entities. Utilizing standardized terminology means data retains its meaning as it is transmitted from computer system to computer system amongst the various offices and agencies that utilize these data. Public health agencies also benefit from standardization of the data as they are transmitted from location to location. Completeness of reported data increases when handwritten postcards and blurry faxes are replaced with electronically transferred data. In these ways, transmitting data electronically allows for laboratories to report tests in real-time to public health agencies, ensuring both facilities operate more efficiently.
For public health agencies, which receive thousands of lab reports, standardization is critical. Hospitals and public health agencies will see increases in efficiency, accuracy, and patient safety – across the public health community – by electronically transferring laboratory results. Public health surveillance and research activities will be further enhanced by these capabilities. Data reporting discrepancies are minimized due to the common language shared resulting in interoperable computer systems.