With the constant upgrade and development of advanced automated equipment in clinical laboratories, the laboratory middleware data management system has been widely applied in clinical laboratories. The data management middleware can set corresponding data management rules in the system to satisfy laboratory operation requirements.
As Beckman’s global middleware solution, REMISOL ADVANCE Middleware System is a powerful laboratory information management system. It has over 1,600 global customers in 25 countries. Its rules engine is based on a mechanism in which actions will be triggered under certain conditions by formulas set in the system. The system enables the laboratory to show an overall tendency of automation and information, and creates an organized and efficient testing environment to achieve data management functions.
The rules engine includes three rule types according to the rule categorization of REMISOL ADVANCE:
1. Download rules: once a new download program is received from the LIS, these rules will be executed sequentially. Rules of this type can be applied in adding new projects to a request automatically, deleting specific testing projects, or adding notes to a request.
2. Project rules: when a project result is received, project rules will be triggered sequentially. Rules of this type can be applied in reviewing project test results, adding notes to a request, or reminding users of abnormalities via REMISOL messages.
3. Upload rules: when project result detected by a series of equipment is received, upload rules will be triggered sequentially. Upload rules are usually applied in automatic redoing, diluting and redoing, creating computational results (such as serum index), and so on.
Categorized by rule trigger points, REMISOL ADVANCE has two rule trigger mechanisms in total. 1) (Download rules will) be triggered when a test request is received from the LIS; 2) (Project and upload rules will) be triggered when REMISOL receives results reported by the equipment.
1. All rules triggered by test requests received from the LIS are download rules. Firstly, REMISOL will receive LIS programming information and the engine of download rules will be triggered at the moment. Rules will be executed and evaluated from the first download rule to the last download rule or a rule with “stop” command, then download rules will no longer be triggered and the rule process will be terminated.
2. When REMISOL receives results from devices, project rules will be triggered firstly. Every project in REMISOL will trigger corresponding project rules. Then upload rules will be triggered next. After all rules are executed, REMISOL will determine whether there is newly-added test project. If so, rules will be executed again; if not, the process will be terminated.
The rules engine is a crucial part in REMISOL application. Through rules, REMISOL can realize a series of processes from receiving samples to obtaining results, including historical result comparison, reference range comparison, mapping test, diluting and redoing, redoing as the original and quality control.
Taking automatic review rules as an example, it is a process to realize automatic review according to requirements such as test range and historical result comparison when REMISOL receives test results from the equipment.
Usually, automatic review rules are executed as follows: when there exists historical result comparison, the automatic review will be carried out if historical comparison is normal; when there is no historical result comparison, the automatic review will be carried out when the sample result is within the review range.
The automatic review process can be realized only if laboratory operators or engineers set up corresponding rule formulas based on this logic.
In conclusion, REMISOL ADVANCE data management middleware system is able to comprehensively recommend laboratory automation and informatization processes via its rules engine to enhance laboratory management level. It lowers operation error rate and greatly reduces workload for laboratory staff to create an organized and highly-efficient testing environment.