A new toolkit and other efforts are ensuring faster and more accurate reporting despite differing health information systems.

As CPHI and our partners addressed the challenges in the field of newborn screening, one problem we identified was the difficulty of reconciling differing health information systems. Because the immediacy of results could mean life or death for a newborn, slowdowns due to incompatible systems or paper-based reporting were an obstacle to providing the most efficient, accurate, and earliest care to our youngest citizens.

To address this challenge, we created the Building Blocks Toolkit. Partnering with the Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS) and J Michael Consulting (JMC), our team assembled a resource guide that offers the NBS community practical instructions and best practices for implementing a NBS electronic data exchange. In other words, we made sure every organization performing newborn screening could “speak the same language” with their data, and move test orders and results to stakeholders more quickly.

An important feature of the toolkit is its modular structure. This allows project teams or individual contributors to go directly to the portions of the guide that pertain to their specific needs, regardless of their focus. One team member who is a technical expert might need full details of the “nuts and bolts” of electronic test orders and results (ETOR) systems, while the project manager can take an overall view.

As a result of this work, newborn screening programs have an adaptable and easily deployable solution to extract data from laboratory information management systems, merge and format the data fields, and prepare for uploading in the national NewSTEPs Data Repository (www.newsteps.org).

Ready to start writing your own success story? Contact CPHI today.