Friday, July 20, 2007

Homegrown LIS -> Ref Lab

Client has a homegrown LIS, but wants to have a bi-directional interface with major ref labs: ARUP and Mayo to start.

The homegrown LIS cannot be extended, so I created a piece of Middleware (MW) to bridge the gap.

On the LIS side, the MW appears to be an automated analyzer, to which orders flow and from which results come.

On the Ref Lab side, the MW appears to be an industry-standard, up-to-date LIS, speaking HL7 over TCP/IP.

It all works like a charm:
  1. A user  of the homegrown LIS places an order for a send out
  2. The MW detects the order as if it were an instrument
  3. The MW stores the order in its database
  4. The MW creates an HL7 order for the appropriate ref lab
  5. The MW sends the HL7 order on its way
  6. The Ref Lab interface receives the order
  7. The Ref Lab interface sends a result
  8. The MW receives the result and updates its database
  9. The MW creates a message to tell the homegrown LIS the result
  10. Any user of the homegrown LIS can see the result

The MW has three components: a database, a TCP/IP client to send orders and a TCP/IP sever to receive results.

The database allows for various automatically generated management reports and tracking of activity and back up of the received results.