ETORaaS: Embracing the Future of Healthcare Data Exchange - Primary Health

ETORaaS: Embracing the Future of Healthcare Data Exchange

  • July 6, 2023

  • Primary.Health Editorial Team

  • 3 minutes

Primary.Health is tapping ETORaaS to enhance interoperability for public health labs, hospitals, and community clinics.

ETOR as a service. The phrase is catchy, but what exactly is ‘ETOR as a service,’ and why does it matter?

Electronic Test Orders and Results (ETOR) is the interoperability standard for ordering tests from labs and receiving results. It eliminates the use of paper and fax machines, speeding up the time between specimen collection and resulting. ETOR also improves our public health labs’ ability to conduct surveillance and monitor pathogens of interest as they emerge. 

Most importantly, ETOR technology opens up a treasure trove of real-time data that can be de-identified, aggregated, and analyzed by public health agencies to proactively detect disease patterns, identify outbreaks, and respond to emerging threats. 

As amazing as this sounds, ETOR as a Service (ETORaaS) takes ETOR to the next level through cloud-based service enablement. Healthcare organizations can instead opt for a subscription-based model where ETOR functionalities are provided and managed by a third-party versus on-premise system management. 

Let’s take a look at several key benefits of ETORaaS:

Scalability and Flexibility 

With ETORaaS, healthcare organizations can scale their usage based on their needs. For example, they can easily adjust the number of test orders and results handled by the system without the need for significant infrastructure upgrades or changes. This flexibility allows organizations to adapt to fluctuating demand and optimize resource utilization.

Cost Savings 

Implementing and maintaining an ETOR system locally can be costly in terms of hardware, software, and IT infrastructure requirements. ETORaaS eliminates the need for substantial up-front investments. That’s because the service provider takes care of infrastructure, maintenance, and updates. Healthcare organizations can benefit from predictable subscription-based pricing, reducing their overall IT expenses.

Expertise and Support 

ETORaaS providers specialize in delivering and maintaining ETOR systems. They possess the necessary expertise, technical know-how, and experience to ensure smooth operations, system security, and compliance with industry standards. Additionally, they provide support services, including troubleshooting, training, and system upgrades. This critical support relieves healthcare organizations of the burden of managing and maintaining the system in-house.

Data Security and Compliance

ETORaaS providers prioritize data security and compliance with privacy regulations such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) or HITRUST (Health Information Trust Alliance). They implement robust security measures, encryption protocols, and access controls to safeguard sensitive patient information. By leveraging the expertise of ETORaaS providers, healthcare organizations can ensure that their data remains secure and compliant with relevant regulations.

Integration and Interoperability

ETORaaS systems are designed to integrate seamlessly with existing healthcare IT infrastructure, including electronic health record (EHR) systems, laboratory information systems (LIS), laboratory information management systems (LIMS), and other clinical systems. This interoperability enables smooth data exchange, reduces duplicate data entry, and enhances workflow efficiency. Healthcare organizations can leverage their existing technology investments and achieve a more integrated and cohesive healthcare ecosystem.

The Primary.Health Approach

We are building a public health lab interoperability integration in California, aiming to establish one of the most comprehensive systems in the nation. This ambitious endeavor is designed to foster collaboration and communication among 29 public health labs while also unlocking the potential of ETORaaS within their respective communities. 

Through this data modernization initiative, California’s public health labs will experience a significant expansion in their capabilities, as they will be able to receive orders from a wide range of submitters. Local hospitals, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), community clinics, and other entities will now have the opportunity to seamlessly work with their nearby public health lab. The result? Enhanced cooperation and streamlined processes.

Further, this interoperability hub will allow public health labs to electronically reroute orders for emergency pandemic response, lab closure due to a natural disaster, and day-to-day operations. Primary.Health’s approach will not only unlock ETORaaS, but it will also ensure continuity of operations to provide the best patient and public health outcomes.

To learn more about Primary.Health’s ETORaaS capability, or discover how we can improve the health of your community, please contact us or email cdph-phl@primary.health.

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