Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Performance Reporting on Lab data

A challenge for many provider and managed care organizations is reporting on lab data for P4P and quality initiatives. Lab data usually is available as HL7 2.x formatted data. Just the term "HL7" can be scary. Extracting (or parsing out) lab data from HL7 usually involves the use of expensive and complex tools, such as an HL7 interface engine. Aside from the cost, there is a steep learning curve for understanding and working with HL7.

If batch reporting is your main need, the CALINX Lab import tool may be for you. It converts HL7 v2.x lab data to a "flat-file". A flat file is essentially just a comma-delimited data file. Most "MS-Access" programmers are familiar with importing this type of data file into a database. Its certainly easier to work with lab data in this format. Check out the Calinx guide, which provides a very straight forward description of the Calinx lab data standard and provides an excellent primer on HL7 v2x lab data.

3 comments:

Neil John said...

Whats the degree of structural error tolerance built into Calinx Lab reader?

Mark Singh MD said...

I

Mark Singh MD said...

I have not tested the reader for structural tolerance. The reader does expect the HL7 data to be in the correct fomat as specified. I welcome comments from others who may have more experience with the Calinx reader.