U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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Laboratory Services  

Instrument Interfacing

How it works:

graphic showing flow of data between the R P M S system and the instrumentation

Flow of Data

The instrument interface serves as a means of communication between the Resource and Patient Management System (RPMS) and the instrumentation. The instrument interface translates RPMS data, such as tests and accession numbers, into a language which the instrument can understand. This is called downloading. When information such as test results are sent from the instrument to the instrument interface to be translated into a format which RPMS can understand (HL7, or Health Level Seven), this is called uploading. There are two types of interfaces: unidirectional (upload only) and bidirectional (both download and upload). The type of interface you use depends on your needs and workflow.

What you will need

There are two options for instrument interfacing: Large Scale Integrated (LSI) Device or Universal Interface (UI). The main operational difference between the two interfaces is that LSI requires a program routine to convert the RPMS data, whereas the UI uses downloadable drivers. At this time, the majority of IHS Interfaced Sites use the UI manufactured by Data Innovations Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov , called the Instrument Manager (IM).

Getting started

There are seven basic steps for installing the Instrument Manager (IM):

  • Decide on what instruments you want to interface, and discuss with your Site Manager what type of connections are required.
  • Place your order with Data Innovations. The IM will be built to your specifications.
  • Coordinate with your IRM to have cabling run from where the IM will reside to where the instruments are located.
  • Set up the six RPMS files used for interfacing. If you need assistance, contact the User Support Team.
  • Set up the IM. You can purchase this service from DI.
  • Connect the cables from the IM to the instrument. This can be done by either your Site Manager or as part of the DI installation service.
  • Check that the proper settings have been made on the instrument. Many Instrument Vendors can be helpful regarding the settings required

Resources

There are many resources available to guide you through the installation of an instrument interface. The IHS Lab Support Team is always available at the support number: (505) 248-4430. Or you may want to contact one of the IHS Interfaced Sites in your area; their experience is invaluable. Finally, Data Innovations Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov is also available for questions, support, and installations.