Journal of Pathology Informatics Journal of Pathology Informatics
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TECHNICAL NOTE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1

The successful implementation of a licensed data management interface between a Sunquest® laboratory information system and an AB SCIEX TM mass spectrometer


1 Director of Mass Spectrometry, Clinical Laboratories, Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA
2 Chief of Laboratory Information Systems, Clinical Laboratories, Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Enrique Terrazas
Chief of Laboratory Information Systems, Clinical Laboratories, Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2153-3539.106682

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Background: Interfacing complex laboratory equipment to laboratory information systems (LIS) has become a more commonly encountered problem in clinical laboratories, especially for instruments that do not have an interface provided by the vendor. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry is a great example of such complex equipment, and has become a frequent addition to clinical laboratories. As the testing volume on such instruments can be significant, manual data entry will also be considerable and the potential for concomitant transcription errors arises. Due to this potential issue, our aim was to interface an AB SCIEX TM mass spectrometer to our Sunquest® LIS. Materials and Methods: We licensed software for the data management interface from the University of Pittsburgh, but extended this work as follows: The interface was designed so that it would accept a text file exported from the AB SCIEX TM × 5500 QTrap® mass spectrometer, pre-process the file (using newly written code) into the correct format and upload it into Sunquest® via file transfer protocol. Results: The licensed software handled the majority of the interface tasks with the exception of converting the output from the Analyst® software to the required Sunquest® import format. This required writing of a "pre-processor" by one of the authors which was easily integrated with the supplied software. Conclusions: We successfully implemented the data management interface licensed from the University of Pittsburgh. Given the coding that was required to write the pre-processor, and alterations to the source code that were performed when debugging the software, we would suggest that before a laboratory decides to implement such an interface, it would be necessary to have a competent computer programmer available.


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