How can electronic lab results help me improve patient care?

The Basics

By helping you collect and display lab results in meaningful ways, electronic health records (EHRs) can help your organization improve health care quality. EHRs can:

  • Alert clinicians to lab values outside normal ranges1
  • Give your organization the ability to better manage incoming lab results
  • Enable clinicians in your organization to identify and target groups of patients with abnormal lab results for follow-up care
  • Help your organization order fewer tests due to better availability of lab results2
  • Help clinicians identify needed lab tests
  • Enable clinicians to order lab tests electronically, helping your organization improve care coordination

In a national survey of providers, a majority of EHR-adopters reported having been alerted to critical lab values by their EHR system in the last 30 days and 74% of providers reported that using an EHR system enhanced patient care.1 EHRs can help you and your organization improve health care quality and better manage and analyze incoming lab results in ways that matter to patients.

Your Local Regional Extension Center Can Help

Your local Regional Extension Center (REC) can help you set up lab interface modules, find ways to manage incoming lab results that work for your organization, improve health care quality and care coordination, and realize the benefits of electronic health records. RECs are located in every region of the country to help health care providers select, implement, and become adept and meaningful users of EHRs. Contact your local REC to find out if you are eligible for free or reduced-price support.

For More Information

For more information on how you can leverage the benefits of electronic health records to improve the way your organization manages and uses lab test results, see the following resources.


  1. Jamoom E, Beatty P, Bercovitz A, Woodwell D, Palso K, Rechtsteiner E. “Physician Adoption of Electronic Health Record Systems: United States, 2011.” 2012.
  2. Hebel E, Middleton B, Shubina M, Turchin A. “Bridging the chasm: effect of health information exchange on volume of laboratory testing.” Arch Intern Med. 2012.
Content last reviewed on April 16, 2019
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