General Device Configuration & Monitoring

General Device Configuration & Monitoring

Estimated reading time: 9 min

General Device Configuration & Monitoring

There are many common configuration elements involved in setting up in-house or external laboratory services. This article explains the common components that you will encounter when integrating with RxWorks Lab Manager.

Lab Manager has some basic diagnostic tools to help troubleshoot device connection issues. These tools are explained in this article; however, it is best to consult with an RxWorks technician for assistance with device connection issues.
For detailed information on your device/reference lab, refer to the device-specific setup articles in the Lab Manager section of this online manual.

Manage In-House Devices

See an overview of the settings required to successfully integrate with an in-house lab device.

Manage External Reference Labs

See an overview of the settings required to successfully integrate with an external reference laboratory.

Edit Or Deactivate Lab Services

Find out how to modify or deactivate lab services if there are changes to your network.

Device Monitor

The device monitor normally runs silently in the background but may be used as a troubleshooting tool.

Lab Device Connection Status

The connection status log may be used to help troubleshoot device connection issues.

Scheduled Task Setup & Multiple Devices

Find out more about Windows Task Scheduler settings for Lab Manager. Scheduled tasks trigger the background processes that communicate with your lab services.

Manage In-House Devices

All in-house lab devices have specific settings to allow them to successfully communicate with Lab Manager. Read on to see the overview of the settings required to successfully integrate with a lab device/supplier.

In-House Laboratory Configuration Settings

Access Device Settings
  1. Go to Lab Manager > Manage Devices & Reference Laboratories
  2. Click Add to open the configuration window.

The device configuration window will open ready for settings to be entered. Read on to see an explanation of each field in the configuration window.

Common Configuration Fields

Name –
Choose a name for the device to help you identify it easily from the Lab Devices List. You can use any name and include the device location if you have more than one of the same device at multiple locations e.g. “Lab Analyser MKII – Greenfields”.

Clinic –
Linking the device to a practice branch allows lab order requests to be sent directly to a device, or lab order task list.

Attach To –
Returned results can be attached to the Patient or Consultation (Visit) record. The Default option is to attach to Visit.
If an ID number is prefixed with a P or V at entry on the lab device, the prefix will over-ride the default attachment setting.

Lab Company for orders –
Setting the lab company allows lab order requests to be sent with the correct codes attached (Two-way communication). This field can also be used if you want to create a lab order task list as part of your lab workflow. If you do not wish to create Lab Order Task Lists in your Lab Workflow, leave this field blank.

Notes –
Notes are used to record information that can help identify how the device is connected to the network. This information is useful for troubleshooting device connection issues. Add in details such as the machine Name & IP address of the PC the device is connected to, physical COM Port Number, Location of the PC, and a description of Cable connections used.

RxWorks recommends attaching lab results to Visit records so that they are better linked to related medical notes. Lab results may still be accessed from the patient screen when required.
It is important to be consistent when entering ID numbers on your lab device. If you choose to attach results to a Patient record, you should always use the patient number as the requisition ID on the Lab Device. If you choose to attach results to visit records, you should always use the visit number as the requisition ID on the Lab Device.
Lab Order/Result Method

Setting the lab order & result method enables RxWorks to use the correct format for sending and receiving results.

Once you have selected the order & result methods, the compatible order and result methods will be made available in the next pair of drop-down lists.

Serial Connection Settings

Additional serial connection settings are displayed if the device communicates using a serial connection.

Com Port –
The COM port is the serial port number that the device is connected to. This port should always be visible from the PC/Server where RxWorks is hosted. In many instances, the COM number will be that of a virtual, rather than a physical port. The port is entered in this field as ‘COM#’ (where # is the number of the port used).

Baud Rate –
This is the transmission rate of the device. Most serial lab devices transmit with a baud rate of 9600.
Check the specific settings for your device in the device setup article or device user manual.

Cas Port –
This setting is specific to serial IDEXX devices. The CAS port number is determined by monitoring communications from the device. Leave this field blank if you are not using an IDEXX lab device.

Network Connection Settings

Additional network connection settings are displayed if the device communicates via a network connection.

Network Identifier –
This field is used to record the device GUID (unique identifier). The ID can be found in the Device Monitor utility.

Manage External Reference Labs

All external reference labs have specific settings to allow them to successfully communicate with Lab Manager. Read on to see the overview of the fields required to successfully integrate with a lab device/supplier.

External Reference Laboratory Configuration Settings

Access Reference Lab Settings
  1. Go to Lab Manager > Manage Devices & Reference Laboratories
  2. Click Add to open the configuration window.

Common Configuration Fields

Name –
Choose a name for the lab service to help you identify it easily from the Lab Providers List.

Clinic –
Linking the reference lab to a practice branch allows lab order requests to be sent directly to supported providers, or lab order task list.

Attach To –
Returned results can be attached to the Patient or Consultation (Visit) record. The Default option is to attach to Visit.
If an ID number is prefixed with a P or V at entry on the lab device, the prefix will over-ride the default attachment setting.

Lab Company For Orders –
Setting the lab company allows lab order requests to be sent with the correct codes attached (Two-way communication). This field can also be used if you want to create a lab order task list as part of your lab workflow. If you do not wish to create Lab Order Task Lists in your Lab Workflow, leave this field blank.

Notes –
Notes are used to record useful information about your account. This information may be useful for troubleshooting connection issues.

RxWorks recommends attaching lab results to Visit records so that they are better linked to related medical notes. Lab results may still be accessed from the patient screen when required.
It is important to be consistent when entering ID numbers on lab requisition forms. If you choose to attach results to a Patient record, you should always use the patient number as the requisition ID on the order form. If you choose to attach results to visit records, you should always use the visit number as the requisition ID on the order form.
Service Settings

Additional service settings are required to send lab orders and receive results. Settings will vary depending on the service provider requirements.

service Endpoint –
The service endpoint is a web link provided by the reference lab for accessing lab results.

service Account Type –
Enter the account type (if required) as supplied by your service provider.

Account ID –
Enter the account ID (if required) as supplied by your service provider.

service Clinic ID –
Enter the unique ID supplied by your service provider.

Username –
Enter the username (if required) as supplied by your service provider.

service Password –
Enter the password (if required) as supplied by your service provider.

Edit or Deactivate Lab Services

There may be a number of instances where device settings or reference lab credentials may need to be updated. Device & reference lab configuration details can be edited at any time.

  1. Go to Lab Manager > Manage Devices & Reference Laboratories
  2. Click on the device/external lab that you want to edit.
  3. Make changes to the configuration & click Save.

You may also wish to deactivate services no longer in use by checking the Deactivatedcheckbox before saving.

Lab services that have never received results may be deleted. A service cannot be deleted once it has received results but may be deactivated instead.

Device Monitor

The Device Monitor normally operates silently in the background, “listening” to practice lab devices. When a device produces a test result, the Device Monitor imports the results into the RxWorks Lab Manager.
The Device Monitor utility can be used to manually connect to in-house laboratory devices. This is useful for troubleshooting as the utility displays the raw data output from lab devices prior to import into RxWorks.

To access the Device Monitor go to Lab Manager > Device Monitor

Select from the list of current devices, click Connect To Device to open the connection. The main Device Monitor window will open ready to receive incoming results.

  • Lab result data is shown in the right panel of the Device Monitor window if the transmission is successful.
  • If the Auto Import When Received button is toggled on, single results will be imported automatically (Default – ON).
  • The Import Result button is activated when the Auto Import When Received button is toggled off. This allows you to choose whether to import the result or not (used for troubleshooting).
  • Once testing is complete, click the Disconnect Button to close the connection to the lab device.

    The Lab Monitor normally runs as a background process & is only capable of a single connection per device. Established connections must be closed (by ending the device monitor process) before attempting to establish a manual connection. Check that the background process is restarted once testing is complete.

    Lab Device Connection Status

    When a lab device connects, disconnects, or fails to communicate, the event is logged and displayed in the Device Connection Status window. The information from the connection status log can be used to troubleshoot connection issues and drop-outs.

    To access the Device Connection Status go to Lab Manager >Device Connection Status

    Each device connection is listed in the main window.
    Clicking the magnifying glass icon next to the device listing expands the display to show the full connection history.

    The Device Connection Status display is for information and diagnostic purposes. An RxWorks technician may use these details to assist in diagnostic testing.

    Useful diagnostic information may include:

  • Process ID– Use this to identify the correct instance of the device monitor to close when performing testing. This is helpful where there are multiple instances of the same device present.
  • status– Use the connection status information to identify patterns of lost connection or reconnection failure.
  • Scheduled Task Setup & Multiple Devices

    RxWorks uses the Windows Task Scheduler to trigger the automatic import of lab test results from lab devices. The scheduled task can be configured using an automated script from within RxWorks, or may be configured manually if required. Read on to learn more about configuring the scheduled task for your lab device.

    Before You Begin

  • Windows Scheduled Tasks require user credentials to be able to execute automatically.
  • Ensure you have the Username and Password of a server account ready before you begin the task setup.
  • Ideally the scheduled task should be run as a background user i.e. one that is not actively used for server login.
  • RxWorks servers use a special user account to run the scheduled task in the background. An RxWorks technician can assist with this.
  • If you are not sure which account to run the task as, consult with your hardware technician.
  • Before you proceed, close RxWorks and re-open using ‘Run as Administrator’. This allows RxWorks to use admin–level security to complete the scheduled task creation.

    Manual Scheduled Task Setup

    Firewall, anti-virus, or other server security settings can prevent automated scheduled task creation. In these instances, it is necessary to configure the scheduled task manually.

    1. Go to Lab Manager > Manage Devices & Reference Laboratories
    2. Note the IDof the device you are configuring e.g. ID:2
    3. Open Windows Task Scheduler & add a new scheduled task.
    4. Name the task so that it is easily identified e.g. RxLab ID 1012 – Clinic 1 – Analyser2000
    5. Configure the task to run the following, where XX is the ID number noted earlier: F:RxWorksBinRxWorks.exe the following arguments must also be added:
      • /APP:RxWorks.Devices.LabMonitor.exe/ID:XX”
    6. Configure the remaining Scheduled Task Settings as follows:
      • Run whether user is logged on or not
      • Run with Highest Privileges (Checkbox)
      • Configure for the correct operating system (Windows 7, 8, & Server 2008R2)
      • Start the task ‘On A Schedule’ with a daily recurrence
      • Set start time to 6am
      • Repeat the task every 5 minutes for duration of 1 Day
      • Allow task to be run on demand
      • Stop task if it runs longer than 3 days
      • If the running task does not end when requested, force it to stop
      • If the task is already running, then the following rule applies – do not start a new instance
    7. Set the Task to Enabled & test that you can run the task without error.

    To check that the scheduled task is fully operational, re-send a lab test result from your in-house lab device. Ensure that the test data is successfully imported into the RxWorks Lab Manager.

    Automated Scheduled Task Setup – (Rx4.6 & Lower only)

    1. Go to Lab Manager > Manage Devices & Reference Laboratories & select your device from the list.
    2. Click Create Scheduled Task from the device settings window.
    3. Enter a server account Username and Password.
    4. Click the Arrow icon to begin the automated task creation.
    5. The task will be created automatically and will be visible in the Windows Task Scheduler. If task creation fails, you may need to create the task manually – see the next section of this article for information about manual task configuration.

    6. Ensure that the Scheduled Task is set to Enabled.
    7. Perform a final Test Result transmission from the lab device to verify that communication to RxWorks Lab Manager is successful.

    Multiple Lab Devices

    Multiple in-house laboratory devices can be added to your network by repeating the normal setup steps for each additional machine you want to add. Each additional device will have unique connection properties such as the serial port it is connected to.
    A unique ID will also be generated for each running instance of the Lab Monitor, known as the Process ID or GUID. This ID can be found using the Lab Device Connection Status utility.

    When the scheduled task is created for the lab device, the Process ID number must be added to the task arguments as follows:

  • F:RxWorksBinRxWorks.exe
  • Task Argument: /APP:RxWorks.Devices.LabMonitor.exe/ID:XX”
  • ‘XX’ is the ID number noted in the Lab Device Connection Status window
  • A separate instance of ‘RxWorks.Devices.LabMonitor.exe’ will run for each lab device in your network
  • IDEXX Devices use either RxIDX.exeor RxIVLS.exe in place of ‘RxWorks.Devices.LabMonitor.exe’.
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