A Bi-directional Interface linking a Dialysis Network with a Clinical Information Network
Glen Graeme Allen, Steve Korossy, Rubin Frost, Jeffrey AJ Barbara
A clinical information system called OACIS is used in the Renal units of major hospitals of South Australia, integrating both patient dialysis and pathology data for clinical assessment. Fresenius haemodialysis machines have been installed in the majority of these Renal units and can be networked by the Finesse Basic system with collection of all patient treatment data into a local database (FinDB). In an effort to help care givers by minimizing data entry and reducing transcription errors, a bi-directional interface (FOXHL7) has been developed linking OACIS with FinDB. FOXHL7 provides automatic transfer of patient treatment data from FinDB to OACIS while allowing dialysis treatment orders to be exported from OACIS to Finesse prescriptions in FinDB. Data automatically uploaded to OACIS includes the patient's pre and post treatment weights, blood pressure measurements and other dialysis treatment information. Care providers can create new dialysis orders on any OACIS computer workstation with this information being downloaded into FinDB prescriptions at the appropriate dialysis centre. FOXHL7 is written in Microsoft Visual Basic and uses TCP Client/Server Active X technology to exchange HL7 Protocol messages with the OACIS Gateway engine. Transfer of the data occurs in real time as the dialysis treatment data becomes available in the Finesse database. The gateway processes the messages and new treatments are stored in OACIS. Changes to dialysis orders in OACIS are intercepted and broadcast to FOXHL7 for downloading to corresponding prescriptions in FinDB in real time. FOXHL7 resides on a Finesse Server running continuously seven days a week.