Serge Jonnaert

If you are in any way involved with connectivity in the laboratory, make sure to stop by the booth of the IVD Industry Connectivity Consortium (IICC) at this year’s annual meeting of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, 27–31 July, in Chicago.

IICC has worked with several standards organizations to develop a new interoperability framework that provides plug-and-play connectivity among laboratory instruments, middleware, and LIS or LAS systems. The resulting IICC standard is documented in the laboratory analytical workflow (LAW) profile compiled by the laboratory technical committee of Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE).

According to Serge Jonnaert, IICC? chief marketing officer, labs should be planning ahead to adopt the new LAW profile, which offers a long list of useful features:

  • Is a global standard
  • Substantially reduces connectivity installation cost and time
  • Supports federal guidelines on meaningful use
  • Improves integrity of patient data
  • Standardizes the data flow of IVD patient and quality control test work order steps and results among instruments, middleware, and LIS or LAS systems
  • Supports rerun and reflex testing
  • Is based on the HL7 2.5.1 standard
  • Supports LOINC and JLAC10 vocabularies
  • Has extensive implementation and test resources available

The LAW profile is slated for publication approval by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute later this year. A number of major industry players have already committed their support, including Abbott Diagnostics, A&T, Beckman Coulter, Becton Dickinson, bioMérieux, Data Innovations, Hitachi, Izasa, Orchard Software, Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, Roche Diagnostics, Samsung, Siemens Medical Solutions, Sunquest Information Systems, and Systelab Technologies.

While the AACC show will be a good starting point for becoming familiar with the LAW profile, says Jonnaert, vendors interested in implementing and testing the standard can also participate in the IHE Connectathons held annually in Asia, Europe, and North America, or can use IHE Gazelle, for online interoperability and conformance testing.

Jonnaert says that IICC is currently looking for test sites for the new laboratory connectivity profile, and encourages those from laboratories that use instruments, middleware, LIS, or LAS systems from any of the committed vendors to contact him ([email protected]) or visit the group at AACC booth 2378.