J Am Med Inform Assoc 17:99-103 doi:10.1197/jamia.M3391
  • Original Investigation
  • Case report

Enhancing laboratory report contents to improve outpatient management of test results

  1. Martin C Were1,2
  1. 1Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
  2. 2Regenstrief Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kevin C Chang, Regenstrief Institute, 410 West 10th Street, Suite 2000, Indianapolis, IN 46202-3012, USA; kchang{at}
  • Received 13 August 2009
  • Accepted 21 October 2009


In today's environment, providers are extremely time-constrained. Assembling relevant contextual data to make decisions on laboratory results can take a significant amount of time from the day. The Regenstrief Institute has created a system which leverages data within Indiana Health Information Exchange's (IHIE's) repository, the Indiana Network for Patient Care (INPC), to provide well-organized and contextual information on returning laboratory results to outpatient providers. The system described here uses data extracted from INPC to add historical test results, medication-dispensing events, visit information, and clinical reminders to traditional laboratory result reports. These “Enhanced Laboratory Reports” (ELRs) are seamlessly delivered to outpatient practices connected through IHIE via the DOCS4DOCS clinical messaging service. All practices, including those without electronic medical record systems, can receive ELRs. In this paper, the design and implementation issues in creating this system are discussed, and generally favorable preliminary results of attitudes by providers towards ELRs are reported.


  • Funding This work was performed at the Regenstrief Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana and supported by Grants LM07117 from the NLM and 290-04-0015 from AHRQ.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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