Belfast Link Labs Medical Informatics By Kathryn, Naomi and Zaki
A Short History • Formed in 1995 when BCH Lab joined with RVH Lab • Later Belvoir Park Hospital Lab joined • Currently Mater hospital Lab merging with BLL (2005-2006) • Labs provide routine, specialist and regional services to hospitals, G.P’s and other labs • Belfast Link Laboratories spend a budget of around £35 Million and employ over 600 staff.
Computer Systems Past and Present • 1999 to Jan 2005 – character based. • 1 Day training • Complex • All info links on 1 page • Since then it’s intranet based. • 1 day training • user friendly • straight forward
Departments in the BLL • Biochemistry • Haematology • Microbiology • Immunology • Genetics • Histopathology • Cytopathology • Tissue Typing
Biochemistry Lab – 7 Sections • About 25 computers connected to the mainframe and a further 40 approx connected to analysers. • Reception (processes all samples) • Tumour Markers/Haematinics section • Proteins section • Trace metals section • Toxicology • Special Investigations Section • Routine/Main Lab Section
Why is a Computer Based System so Important for the BLL? • To deal with volume of tests, (4,514,291 by BCH Biochemistry Lab each year alone) • 1 common computer system for BLL means that there is one patient record which prevents repeats and allows comparisons with past results to be made. The computer system is also linked with computers in the hospital and with some G.P’s, allowing faster treatment for patients as results can be accessed quickly.
Why is a Computer Based System so Important for the BLL? • Computers can perform the actual tests and can interpret results using logic rules so scientists only have to look at abnormal test results • Logic Rules • Paper is slow, electronic quicker • Paper is easily destroyed eg cup of coffee spilt • Paper can easily be read by anyone, electronic requires a password • Paper is bulky, electronic is smaller and easier to back up • Electronic can be altered quickly and efficiently • Electronic can be transferred easily
Security-Advantages • Unique user ids and passwords. Passwords haven’t been changed in 6 years though – due to admin load. • Different users have different levels of access. Doctors on the wards, analysers etc. • Backups are kept and archived. • Data Protection Act 1998 • Virus Protection • Firewall against hacking
What Are the Disadvantages of a Computer Based System • Logic Rules are limited • Human error is still a factor as information can be entered incorrectly-Computers cannot read doctor’s handwriting so a lot of manual entering of information takes place, which could be prone to error.
How does it work? • Sample and request form received in specimen reception section • Sample and request form are date and time stamped when received • Sample and request form are given bar-coded lab ID number • Patient details, test requests & bar-coded ID number entered in computer • Bar-coded ID plus test requests are sent to blood analysers & analysed
How does it work? • Raw test results returned to lab computer via lab network (LAN) • Extensive use made of computer logic rules for many reasons e.g validation of results, cascade test requesting, calculations, checking for haemolysis, checking delays in sample receipt, etc • Test results are validated, authorised and released for viewing/printing
The Future • Use of new scanners • Bar code readers • E-mailing results
Further Information • Visit:http://www.bll.n-i.nhs.uk/ • Any Questions? Feel free to ask us….