Four Million Views and Climbing: Why Is This Lab Test Directory So Popular?

February 4, 2016

Gateway, ARUP’s web-based joint test directory for clients, nearly doubled its number of users last year, surpassing four million client views. The hard work of the LTD/Gateway Development team (pictured) and the effort of ARUP account executives is helping drive its popularity among clients. (Left to right) Julie Turner, Deb Wright, Janice Banks, and Adam Harmon.

Gateway, ARUP’s web-based joint test directory for clients, nearly doubled its number of users last year, surpassing four million client views as of December 2015.

“We attribute this growth to the value clients find in Gateway and to our account executives who our connecting our clients with it,” says Julie Turner, Gateway product manager.

Gateway provides a centralized online location that allows clients to access all their tests, those they perform and those they send out, making it easier for clinicians, phlebotomists, and lab personnel to find the information they need. The test directory is easy to keep current with automatic updates to ARUP tests and intuitive maintenance features designed for non-IT personnel.

“Gateway has made huge differences for us both internally and externally,” says Jessica Wahl, outreach lab services account manager and analyst at University of Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital, who finds using and updating the Gateway site to be easy and user-friendly. It was up to nearly 15,000 views in January. “We used to have a test index that wasn’t reliable, but now we have this awesome tool,” adds Wahl.

Customizing to Optimize Test Utilization

ARUP hosts Gateway and provides its clients with the infrastructure to build a co-branded, customized site that fits the needs of the client. Client administrators can add, edit or delete a test; insert images to help convey information and avoid errors (i.e., a test tube with a red cap verses a green one); and incorporate sidebar menu items on their launch page linking users to specific topics, such as specimen-collection guidelines, general forms,  and industry updates.

“By customizing the site, our clients can influence test-ordering patterns,” says Turner, who points out places where client administrators have added language to alert users to common mistakes; for example, when users view the vitamin D hydroxyl test (one of the most commonly mis-ordered tests), the test page states: “Vitamin D 1,25-dihydroxy is indicated during patient evaluation for hypercalcemia and renal failure. For diagnosing vitamin D deficiency, consider ordering vitamin D 25-hydroxy.” A link is included to guide users to the correct test.

We have clients who are local reference labs, and their Gateway site is used by their clients as well as their labs,” says Turner, pointing out Gateway’s outreach potential.

Client administrators can create custom search filters in addition to the built-in search functions, which utilize the test code, test name, synonyms, LOINC, or CPT codes. Clients can also create private or public settings for certain fields and review what tests are being viewed and how often.

All clients who purchase Gateway services receive training on how to customize and manage the site and ongoing technical support.

By using Gateway, ARUP clients can improve efficiency and accuracy in test ordering. “Guiding people toward proper ordering ultimately results in better patient care,” says Turner, adding that the evolution of Gateway is about continuous improvement based on feedback from those using it or those working with ARUP clients.

Wahl points out how Strong Memorial Hospital leadership supported the creation of a test-tier system on Gateway to guide test-ordering patterns, resulting in significant institutional savings. She explains that tier 1 tests have no ordering restrictions, tier 2 tests are restricted to board-certified subspecialists, and tier 3 tests are restricted and require review and authorization.

“Using Gateway to implement our TIER levels has been key in the success of our program to insure the right test is ordered with appropriate clinical utility while also controlling costs,” Vicki VanDeWalle, a process improvement and projects manager, at Strong Memorial Hospital. “Gateway makes it so easy to tell!”

By Peta Owens-Liston, ARUP Science Communications Writer