ePathology

ePathology is the term for safe and secure exchange between the information systems of a primary health care professional and a pathology laboratory.

It is also known as eOrders or eRequests.

In the Australian primary care setting, ePathology orders to Medicare pathology providers still require an accompanying digital or hard-copy form. Despite this constraint, the system has significant benefits.

A diagram depicting the ePathology process.
The ePathology process (click to enlarge).

Benefits

Using ePathology reduces the risk of errors arising from handwritten requests. It increases the amount of useful clinical information and patient history available to aid pathologist diagnoses.

ePathology can save significant time and frustration for primary care practices. It can speed up processing time for pathology requests and reduce the need for follow-ups due to missing or incorrect data. It may also reduce the need for calls between patients and GPs in search their results, and help avoid duplication of tests by different providers.

GPs can provide smoother consultations because pathology orders can be automatically shared with patients and providers and tracked in real time.

Pathology uploads to My Health Record

Pathology labs can upload results directly to a patient’s My Health Record, where they can be immediately viewed by a health care provider.

If a patient does not want results uploaded, you can communicate this directly in the eRequest – assuming your software has been updated to include the Do not send reports to My Health Record tick box. Alternatively, patients can tick a box or write a note on a paper pathology form, requesting the report is not uploaded.

More information is available on the My Health Record website.

How to get set started

Contact your pathology provider to get your practice set up for ePathology.

Not all pathology providers offer electronic ordering functionality. Visit the Australian Digital Health Agency website for the most up-to-date list.