Exploring the Impact of ETOR on Healthcare Workflow Efficiency - Primary Health

Exploring the Impact of ETOR on Healthcare Workflow Efficiency

  • September 20, 2023

  • Jack Hysell, Director of Integrations and Digital Partnerships

  • 3 minutes

ETOR healthcare workflow efficiency

The latest in our ongoing look at Electronic Test Orders and Results (ETOR), a game-changer for streamlining and elevating modern patient care.

The healthcare industry is undergoing a digital transformation, and at the forefront of this is Electronic Test Orders and Results (ETOR). As the Director of Integrations and Digital Partnerships at Primary.Health, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing firsthand how ETOR solutions can positively impact patients, providers, and laboratory staff. 

In this discussion, we will delve into the pivotal role ETOR plays in streamlining processes, improving communication, and ultimately elevating the quality of patient care in the modern healthcare ecosystem. 

Say goodbye to analog and paper processes

Perhaps the most obvious benefit to ETOR is the elimination of paper-based test orders and results. The bane of almost every lab technician’s job is the need to manually enter data from a faxed requisition. Consider the following workflow as outlined by Brenda Hopkins in the Medical Group Management Association’s 2019 article titled “3 ways to improve healthcare workflow”:

  1. Receive and print incoming faxes 
  2. Staff member separates faxes by customers
  3. Staff member scans the faxes 
  4. Staff member enters scanned faxes into EHR 
  5. Staff member shreds paper faxes to protect patient privacy

This workflow is rife with the potential for data entry errors associated with manual entry. Not to mention the unhappy path of paper jams, incomplete faxes, not enough paper and so on. If this triggered you, rest assured that the future is bright!

Faster Turnaround Time (TAT)

When infectious diseases are on the rise and a pandemic is looming, every second counts. Those of us with a mobile device or access to the Internet can quarantine ourselves while we await the results of a test. But for the most vulnerable who do not have access to this technology, rapid TATs are crucial to preventing community spread. 

Enter point-of-care (POC) testing, which saw a massive boost during the COVID-19 pandemic. POC testing enabled care teams to quickly test and begin treatment for infected individuals. According to a May 2022 article in Medical Laboratory Observer, ETOR is a significant component to the success of POC testing. The article stated:  “Results need to be electronically captured and integrated into the patient’s chart, making results immediately available to the care team. When this is the case, POC testing can improve the efficiency of providers and potentially improve patient outcomes.

Data Integration and Reporting

Following off of POC testing, another major perk of ETOR is the ability to integrate this data with electronic health records (EHRs) and health information exchanges (HIEs). This connection empowers providers with a comprehensive overview of a patient’s medical history and test results leading to faster diagnosis and treatment. It can also provide an instant connection to various HIEs, enabling seamless reporting once results have been released.


What are your thoughts and/or experiences with healthcare workflows? I want to hear from YOU! 

Have you implemented ETOR, ETORaaS, or similar technologies within your healthcare setting? If so, what have you enjoyed most about this integration? What pain points have you encountered? If not, what has prevented you from doing so? What concerns do you have?

One of the many joys of my work is learning from my various conversations with lab technicians, lab directors, and providers. This is how we at Primary.Health build technology in service of your needs. 

I invite you to share your perspective so that together, we can build the future of healthcare technology.  Email your thoughts to cdph-phl@primary.health.


In my previous blog, ETORaaS: Embracing the Future of Healthcare Data Exchange, I discussed the key benefits of Electronic Test Orders and Results as a Service (ETORaaS). If you haven’t read it yet, it’s a quick and informative read that will pair nicely with this post.

Our latest healthcare newsletter delivered to your inbox.