Electronic Health Records Innovation Helps Doctors Know Test Costs

An electronic health records technology innovation now allows doctors to know the cost of a medical test before even ordering it.


electronic health records



Electronic Health Records: Smart Ribbon Technology

Texas Hospital Association announced that it is now using Smart Ribbon analytics technology to show physicians their cost of a medical test before they order it. Smart Ribbon, was created by IllumiCare and the Texas Hospital Association’s Center for Technology Innovation.

THA Smart Ribbon is designed to help physicians be more informed about the cost and clinical necessity of the tests they order. Studies have shown that the more doctors know about the price tag and impact of specific tests when they’re at the point of care, the more likely they are to order fewer or less costly procedures and medications.


Electronic Health Health Records: How Smart Ribbon Works

Smart Ribbon uses a patent-pending, EHR-agnostic technology that taps HL7 feeds to gather clinical data. IllumiCare says the tool can show physicians real-time cost and risk data, including detailed information about medications, labs and radiology.

Doctors will be shown data at the point of care with a “ribbon” of information, according to Texas Health Center, that can help them better evaluate the need for previously performed tests. It helps them determine the necessity of the test, cost to the patient and health system, and impact on the individual’s health.

Physician ordering can affect more than 85 percent of hospital costs, studies have shown. Therefore, the Smart Ribbon data can help doctors think more strategically about the tests they call up.



The Smart Ribbon technology is a great benefit to electronic medical record proficiency as it allows doctors to reduce unnecessary testing. This ultimately benefits the patients and lowers healthcare costs overall.

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