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How Mayo Clinic Plans to Use Data to Fight Pointless Lab Tests


They waste time and money. Can electronic health records help?

mayo clinic,national decision support company,healthcare analytics news,hca news,careselect labs

Data and smooth operating are the chief weapons in the Mayo Clinic’s war against the wrongful ordering of laboratory tests.

CareSelect Lab, the medical practice and research group’s collaboration with National Decision Support Company (NDSC), aims to use analytics and interoperable capabilities to reduce the number of unnecessary lab tests. Announced in late September, the system will integrate with hospital electronic health records (EHR) systems and weigh data against more than 1,500 Mayo Clinic-curated care models to enhance physicians’ ability to order the right tests for their patients.

“There are 3 components,” Curtis Hanson, MD and chief medical officer of Mayo Medical Laboratories, told Healthcare Analytics News™ during the Transform conference. “Making sure that you’re ordering the right test, [having] the analytics at the back end to make sure you’re getting more complete information for the patient, and understanding populations of patients, so you know better what to do.”

To Hanson, clinical decision support systems are poised to change how lab work gets done. Optimized test ordering can create value and cut down on waste on both sides: Labs will do less needless work, and clinicians will deliver better and faster care, Hanson said.

According to Mayo, the system will provide real-time guidance “in a health care provider’s normal EHR workflow” at the point-of-order. The structure builds upon NDSC’s existing CareSelect Imaging platform, which hundreds of hospitals use to inform millions of imaging decisions.

“Laboratories have been great at generating data, but we have done a really poor job of owning that data and understanding how to use that data to in aggregate to help clinicians,” Hanson said.

Clinicians are driven by single-line results for the individual. They rarely have time to look at a medical situation in the context of 20 lab tests, let alone tens of thousands, he said.

“Medicine hasn’t solved that issue,” he added. “That’s a real problem for clinicians.”

CareSelect Lab also promises benchmarking and analytics tools to compare test ordering patterns and identify gaps in care.

Any revenue from the product is slated to support the Mayo Clinic’s nonprofit medical mission, according to the group.

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