5 Things You Need When Building Your Laboratory Provider Ordering Portal

By Methodiq Team

An online system that allows you to order and manage laboratory services from a variety of providers is known as a Laboratory Provider Ordering Portal. A Provider Ordering Portal can make a tremendous difference for your laboratory. It can save you time and money by allowing customers to order lab tests online, reducing the information gap and data duplication. It can also improve the quality of care and agility of results provided to patients.

The following are some of its major advantages:

  • Increased Efficiency - By automating and simplifying the procedure of ordering laboratory services, a provider ordering portal may save a ton of time.
  • Improved Accuracy - Errors in ordering and managing laboratory services may be reduced by using an online system.
  • Increased Transparency - A provider ordering portal can help you track and control the progress of your laboratory tests by providing transparency into the procedure.
  • Improved communication - By using an online system, communication between providers and patients can be improved
  • Greater Choice - Customers will be able to choose which laboratory services they want and where those tests should be conducted. This can offer patients greater control over the testing process, resulting in enhanced convenience for them.

For your Laboratory Provider Ordering Portal to stand out from the competition, we've supplied 5 key features to consider while implementing it.

1. Easy-to-use interface

The Provider Ordering Portal must deliver a unique user experience. The interface is the first thing your users will interact with, so it's important that it's easy to use. That means having a clean, intuitive design that users can navigate without difficulty. That translates into the following key requirements:

  • Multiplatform portal - Ensures a consistent experience across all devices - desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone. That way users can access it anytime, anywhere.
  • Intuitive user experience - Avoid cluttered information, so that the user doesn’t get confused and it allows them to find what they need quickly and easily.
  • Use masks, picklists, and lookups instead of plain text fields – By doing this you can keep data consistent and avoid duplication.
  • Clear instructions – Provide clear guidance to the users so they are not in the dark on how to execute each step during the process.

The key function of this component is to guarantee that your customer can access the portal from any location - their office computer or their phones. While also not being distracted by a cluttered interface and may instead focus on what truly matters - placing orders and monitoring results.

2. Modern and scalable architecture

The Provider Ordering Portal must be built on top of a multitiered service-based architecture, which minimizes the dependency between the different components - frontend and backend. Doing this also allows for a fault-tolerant integration with external systems.

Although the portal might be used as a standalone system, in most cases it needs to integrate with other systems. The most common is being integrated with a laboratory information system (LIS). By connecting with a LIS, you can ensure that orders and results can be exchanged between both systems. Other possible integrations are with the electronic health record (EHR) systems so that providers can access the portal from within the EHR, or with billing and coding systems, to streamline the reimbursement process.

Because of this, the portal must be designed to easily integrate with other systems, using modern integration patterns and technologies, such as microservices.

It must also be able to support an increasing number of users, laboratory orders, and/or integration with other systems, without compromising performance or stability.

Another essential component of the portal's architecture is that it must be robust so that it can function even if individual elements go down.

The key takeaway from this is that having a well-structured architecture reduces the maintenance complexity, minimizes downtime, and allows for scalability and easy replacement of individual components, thus increasing system longevity.

3. Flexibility

Each laboratory is unique and has specific needs and workflows. To account for this, the Provider Ordering Portal needs to support a wide range of customization options. By accounting for this it can work perfectly for each individual lab.

Some of the key elements the portal must be flexible on are:

  • Look and feel - Represents the portal's ability to follow and comply with the lab's branding guidelines
  • Workflow rules and validations - Ensures that system administrators can add, edit, or remove rules with little to no coding efforts
  • Results notification methods - Enables users to be notified of changes in a timely fashion, but without being hassled
  • User settings - Empowers users to adjust the portal to their specific needs
  • Identity provider - Allows users to utilize their preferred credentialing method, instead of forcing them to create and memorize yet another user/password combination
  • Hosting environment - Minimizes the infrastructure costs, as it can be run on top of the lab's existing/usual infrastructure - be it on-premises or on the cloud
  • System database - Minimizes the infrastructure and ongoing support costs, as the data can be stored in whichever DB management system the lab's IT team is already used to

By being flexible the portal has the ability to quickly adapt to the laboratory and the ever-changing landscape of the healthcare space.

4. Security and privacy

Your patients' information security and privacy are of utmost importance. Thus, it is imperative to build your Provider Ordering Portal on a secure platform that offers the following key security measures to ensure it is HIPAA compliant:

  • Use of identity provider - Makes it easier for customers to use their preferred credentials
  • Two-factor authentication - Avoids inadvertent system access
  • Encrypted transmission of data - Avoids data interception
  • Encrypted data at rest - Avoids data breaches
  • Anonymized PHI in non-production environments - Avoids unauthorized and/or malicious use of patients' data

Adhering to HIPAA ensures to cover the portal when it comes to government legislation and regulation, thus avoiding compliance-related penalties and fees.

5. Customer service and training

The Provider Ordering Portal must come with a complete customer service offering. By providing this your team can offer an excellent support experience to end users. This includes:

  • Assistive AI, such as Chat Bots - Helps your users address common issues
  • FAQ or knowledge base - This allows users to find all the information needed to use the portal
  • Ticketing system - Allows users to get help from the customer support team
  • Training program - Smoothens the user onboarding process and allows users to take full advantage of the portal's features

Last, but not least, this aspect aims to dazzle customers and leverage innovative technology to help laboratories reduce customer support costs in the long term.

Final Thoughts

In summary, when building a Provider Ordering Portal for your laboratory, be sure to keep these five things in mind:

  • Easy-to-use interface - Improves your customers' experience
  • Modern and scalable architecture - Smoothens the IT department's ongoing support of the solution
  • Flexibility - Simplifies the System Administration
  • Security and privacy - Protects the Compliance of the lab
  • Customer service and training - Increase the Sales potential (happier customers bring more customers)

By keeping these five things in mind, you'll be well on your way to building a successful laboratory Provider Ordering Portal that will help streamline your operations and improve your bottom line.