The Quest for Better Data Transmission and Merging of Infertility Prevention Project Electronic and Hard-Copy Data Elements Between the Laboratory, Data Warehouse, and Program Using a Unique Identifier

Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Continental Ballroom
Christianne Biggs, MS , Oregon State Public Health Laboratory, Portland, OR
William Brannon, AAS, Computer, Science , AS400 Programming Department, Ahlers and Associates, Waco, TX
David Fine, PhD , Center for Health Training, Seattle, WA
Region X. IPP Laboratory Subcommittee , Oregon State Public Health Laboratory, Portland, OR

Background:
Region X IPP and OSPHL use a three-part NCR form to capture chlamydia (CT) test results and core/enhanced program measures. Data processing hard copy has been a resource challenge for the laboratory, Ahlers, and the Center for Health Training (CHT, IPP manager).

Objective:
1) Extract electronic CT data from OSPHL's information system (LIMS) and route to Ahlers. 2) Work with Ahlers to merge enhanced measures from hard copy forms with electronic laboratory records. 3) Ensure IPP data transfer among OSPHL, Ahlers and CHT. 4) Decrease resources expended for data processing.

Method:
OSPHL receives specimens and hard-copy data forms. Lab-related fields and test results are entered into LIMS. One copy returns to the clinic, OSPHL keeps one, and the third is batched and sent to Ahlers. Weekly, OSPHL creates electronic data files, records are edit-checked, and the file transmitted to Ahlers's secure website and saved in a database. Ahlers accesses hard copy forms and matches these to electronic records via the lab's unique requisition number. Unacceptable records are written to a file routed back to OSPHL for revision. The new system required significant programming at OSPHL and Ahlers.

Result:
The first three weeks of implementation, 3449 records were transmitted electronically. Virtually all records were successfully loaded at Ahlers and remaining fields from hard copy were successfully merged with laboratory records. Three records were rejected at Ahlers and returned to OSPHL for follow-up.

Conclusion:
OSPHL and Ahlers devised a successful system for transmitting electronic lab-related fields using a unique requisition number that allows merging hard copy enhanced IPP measures. The system is transferable to other labs using LIMS. OSPHL staff time handling and reporting data decreased.

Implications:
This system could facilitate data transmission between other Region X labs and programs. With appropriate modifications, it could be used for other public health program data.
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