Do ‘meaningful use’ standards include pushing lab results to patients?

I went in for some medical tests early yesterday morning.  It has been over a day since then, and there are several questions I wish I had answers for.

  • My insurance changed recently.  Has the change registered correctly at the hospital?  Will there be any mishaps with payments?
  • I left my urine sample in a little cupboard.  The cupboard already had another sample, which had not been picked up yet.   Did someone pick the samples up, all right?  Have the tests been performed yet, and are the results in hand?
  • Have the results been sent to the physician who ordered the tests?
  • Will the lab send me the results?  I would like an electronic copy of the results.   They are my tests dammit.

Events in the workflow

Each of these is an event in the workflow that was my tests.  Notifications about the disposition of these events would set my mind at ease.  I understand some folks might not want this much information. Well, make these notifications optional; let me choose which ones I want to receive.

When a business process is carrying out a customer’s business, some events in the process will be of interest to the customer.  Are you able let the customer choose the events they want to know about, and how they would like to be notified?  I would not mind a tweet.  Others might like an email, or a text message.   It is not hard to see that this need is a natural part of any enterprise system, which is carrying out a customer’s business.  This is ‘user experience‘, which to my mind is also, often synonymous with ‘customer service‘.

It occurs to me that either the lab where the tests were performed, or the physician that ordered the tests could keep me informed.  Of course, no joy from either party at the moment.   Some day ….

I dug through the EHR certification requirements for Stage 2 of ‘meaningful use’, and found only a reference to facilities of the ‘pull’ variety.   The EHR must allow MU data (lab results included) to be viewed, downloaded, and transmitted.

   § 170.314(e)(1):  View, Download, and Transmit to 3rd Party

However, these documents are hard to read, and I might have missed something.

The computer programmer in me is a little bit happy I think.  As everyone keeps saying, a lot of work remains to be done.