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`On line' data handling in a routine haematology department
  1. H. B. C. Burmester,
  2. G. S. Crow
  1. Department of Pathology, Wythenshawe Hospital, Southmoor Road, Wythenshawe, Manchester 23, UK


    The use of a `stand alone' mini computer, on line, data acquisition system is described utilising a microprocessor as an adjunct to the main central processor to increase data transmission rates. Visual display units (VDU) provide on line flexibility of data input.

    The system acquires, on line, the Coulter S generated parameters together with the associated patient identification data and other requested tests. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate, platelet count, and B12 and folate results are fed in at will via the VDUs, using rapid entry subroutines.

    Percentage differential white cell count results and the absolute leucocyte count are calculated by the microprocessor, on line input being facilitated by remote keyboards associated with the VDUs.

    Total editing of all requests and results is available on all `current' (unfiled) reports via the VDUs, and this facility includes the entry of film appearances using plus symbols and predetermined comments available against a code number. This editing function is also used to enter all other results that can be made available on the computer-printed report form.

    The computer system also provides quality control data, immediate printout of Coulter S results outside given limits, cumulative filing for all routine and designated `priority' results, and a daily alphabetical listing of all patients from whom specimens have been examined together with full blood count, ESR, and platelet results on specimens examined that day.

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