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Processing haematological data on a dedicated computer.
  1. M G Nelson,
  2. C L Farrington,
  3. J D Rogers,
  4. G W Purdy


    A system of processing the laboratory data of a busy haematology department serving a teaching group of hospitals and the general practitioners of the district is described. The system, which has been in routine use for over two years, is based on a dedicated CTL8030 computer sited in the laboratory utilising Lynwood visual display units (VDUs) for both input and access to the data files. Data from the Coulter 'S' is fed by an interface to the computer and to other data handling modules. Manual test results are entered via VDUs, mainly by laboratory staff who also validate all data. Access is available to all data for answering telephone requests. Data are retained on the disc file for 48 hours only, and cumulative reporting was not planned into the system as deliberate policy. Quality control of the Coulter 'S' output is maintained both throughout the day and retrospectively at the end of each working day using both whole blood patient blood transfusion profiles, a record of blood and product usage, worksheets, quality control information, end-of-day listing in alphabetical order plus statistical information for administrative purposes. Since its introduction the system has been remarkably free from breakdown as a result of hardware failure. A number of fail safe/fallbacks have been included in the system.

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