CHCF Awards $120,000 to Implement New ELINCS Lab Standard
California providers will use the specification to improve delivery and exchange of clinical information
The California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) today announced it has awarded eight grants to implement a new version of the EHR-Lab Interoperability and Connectivity Specification (ELINCS) to deliver lab results to clinical information systems.
ELINCS is a format that enables standardized lab results reporting between laboratories and ambulatory electronic health records (EHRs) systems. It provides a common language for patient data and helps providers deliver the right care by making data consistent, accessible, and accurate.
Grant recipients include independent physician associations, community clinics, private practices, and other ambulatory care providers across the state, which will receive technical assistance and up to $15,000 each over 12 months. The recipients are:
- All for Health, Health for All, Glendale
- Chinese Community Health Care Association, San Francisco
- Clinica Msr. Oscar A. Romero, Los Angeles
- Community Health Alliance of Pasadena, Pasadena
- County of Santa Cruz Health Services Agency, Santa Cruz
- Foundation Laboratory, Pomona
- Redwood MedNet (with CliniPro), Ukiah
- Redwood MedNet (with SpringCharts), Ukiah
“This is a great step to broaden ELINCS adoption to help providers and patients manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease,” said Sophia Chang, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Better Chronic Disease Care Program at CHCF. “Improving access to accurate and timely lab results is also a patient-safety issue.”
CHCF supported ELINCS in collaboration with leading national health care organizations, and this year transferred its copyright and management to HL7, a standards development organization that is recognized and accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
“Given the specificity of the HL7 ELINCS implementation guide for the electronic reporting of laboratory results to ambulatory EHR systems, such standard transactions should be cheaper and faster to implement, providing immediate value to the health care industry,” said Bill Braithwaite, long-time HL7 member and former board member. “We feel that HL7’s open, rigorous, and multi-stakeholder standards-development process provides an appropriate home for implementation guides of widespread applicability and national importance, such as ELINCS, and we are happy to take over its development and management.”
The new version includes changes to ELINCS that conform to the HL7 v2.5.1 message standard and meet the 2008 Certification Commission for Health Information Technology’s EHR certification criteria.
With grants to implement ELINCS, CHCF and HL7 will receive feedback that can be used to improve the specification; expand adoption of ELINCS throughout the state and across the country; demonstrate models for use in diverse settings; and keep California organizations in step with national initiatives.
Electronic lab reporting will be a topic of discussion at the annual meeting of the American Health Information Community tomorrow, September 23 at 8:30 AM Eastern, in Washington, D.C. The public can participate remotely via www.videocast.nih.gov.
For more information on ELINCS, visit www.elincs.org.
About the California Health Care Foundation
The California Health Care Foundation is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. We work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.