The Interface Between Analyzers and IT Systems
The Standard Way to Go
By Nancy Sasavage, PhD
The IVD Industry Connectivity Consortium (IICC) recently announced the development of a global plug-and-play interface standard that connects clinical laboratory analyzers to information technology (IT) systems, which the organization is now encouraging laboratories to adopt.
Clinical laboratories have faced many challenges in establishing and maintaining these interfaces that often require customization, are costly to maintain, and have the potential to introduce errors. This problem has been compounded in recent years as the number of interfaces required in the clinical laboratory has increased due to government regulations such as meaningful use criteria and widening network needs. To address this, IICC developed the laboratory analyzer workflow (LAW) interface, a global interface based on a common set of clinical laboratory communications that unambiguously defines communication protocols.
Some of the benefits of adopting LAW include error reduction, improved specimen throughput and data flow, and reduced costs. According to Eric Olson, president of IICC and vice president of portfolio and product management at Siemens, “Streamlined connectivity is something that can only be achieved when leading diagnostic vendors and healthcare providers work toward a common goal. Working together, we have the power to simplify.”
Last year, four diagnostic and three IT companies successfully validated 129 LAW tests. Since then IICC has refined these interfaces and is now asking more manufacturers to adopt the standard in an effort to simplify connectivity in the clinical laboratory and within the healthcare enterprise. Companies currently supporting the effort include Abbott Diagnostics, Beckman Coulter, BD, Data Innovations, Orchard Software, Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, Roche Diagnostics, Siemens Healthcare, and Systelab Technologies.
IICC is a global nonprofit organization founded in 2008 by industry leaders and the clinical laboratory community. Its mission is to create and ensure adoption of a unified connectivity standard. The organization will be an exhibitor at the 2013 AACC Annual Meeting in July and encourages vendors and attendees to stop by for more information (booth no. 5847). To schedule a time to meet with an IICC representative, contact Jean Rhame ([email protected]), or visit the IICC website for additional information.