With the increase in EMR adoption, we’ve discussed in previous posts the importance of the pathology lab and the huge wave of LIS-to-EMR interfacing that is on the horizon.  As path labs embark on filling these needs, there will be important decisions to be made.  Do we hire IT expertise internally?  Or do we outsource?  If we outsource, what do we need to look for in a vendor partner?   

Due to the high demand for LIS-to-EMR interfacing services, there will be service providers jumping into the market from all directions.  You will see pricing range from too-good-to-be-true to extremely expensive.  If a pathology lab is looking to do a one-off implementation then pricing may be the only critical factor; however, if multiple implementations and servicing needs are on the horizon then you may need to look a bit deeper.  Following are some factors a lab may want to take into consideration:

1.  Does the vendor offer the pathology lab other servicing options (Online Results, Electronic Ordering, On-Demand Faxing, etc.)?

2.  How flexible is the vendor’s interoperability architecture?

3.  What level of support and monitoring does the vendor provide?

4.  Can the vendor help us better position ourselves against our competitors?

5.  Does this vendor understand multi-partner interoperability?

6.  Based on our needs,  is this vendor’s service competitively priced in the short and long terms?

We’re sure this list can/will be expanded in the near future.  What other factors should a pathology lab look at when choosing an LIS-to-EMR interfacing vendor partner?