Integrated EQA

Jonna Pelanti1,*, Samuli Niiranen2

1Labquality, Helsinki, 2Mylab, Tampere, Finland

Introduction: In order to know how a laboratory functions quality-wise, its performance has to be compared to other laboratories analyzing the same reference sample. EQA is a way for laboratories to get feedback on their performance and quality in this context. Most laboratories receive patient sample analysis requests electronically into their LIS and the results are reported electronically. However, their EQA results are usually processed differently; analysis requests to the LIS are not electronic and results are reported manually by writing down the results to the result form of the EQA provider. Integrating LISs to EQA portals electronically could provide more reliable and faster feedback on the laboratories’ performance with a decreased manual workload.

Objectives: To demonstrate that the integration of laboratory information systems to EQA portals is technically feasible.

Methods: Labquality, an independent EQA provider, and Mylab, an expert in information services for the healthcare sector, set out to integrate their LabScala and Weblab systems to enable the electronic transfer of EQA analysis requests to a LIS, specifically Weblab, and the reporting of EQA analysis results back to an EQA portal, specifically LabScala, using standard HL7 messaging. The integration was planned to utilize Mylab’s MylabWay integration gateway enabling the integration of 3rd party LISs to LabScala in the future.

Results: The integration of LabScala and Weblab was technically implemented and validated in 2013-2014 in close co-operation between Labquality and Mylab. The first customer implementations are expected in the near future.

Conclusion: This co-operation potentially allows laboratories to reliably and quickly, and with less manual labor, report their EQA results via the implemented direct integration. In the future, monitoring additional parts of the participating laboratories’ processes may become possible by extending the scope of the integration.

Keywords: IT-oriented, Laboratory organization