Some tests, such as microbiology cultures and those that determine heavy metal ion concentration, require additional information with the laboratory order. This information, in the form of Ask at Order Entry Question Codes (AOE), can be transmitted using the MayoACCESS® Batch Process or through an established HL7 interface. Examples of this information include specimen source, collection duration, and patient demographic information.
Most Laboratory Information Systems (LIS) can transmit AOE information via HL7 messages, either as NTE comments or in specific OBX fields. The preferred format is OBX, which marks sendout tests as ready for batching by way of the MayoACCESS Batch Process. To transmit AOE Codes using OBX, the question code must be located in OBX-3, and the AOE answer must be located in OBX-5. See the following example. The AOE question and its corresponding answer are shown in bold.
Cortisol, Free, Urine, TEST ID: CORTU
AOE questions that are listed as Reportable=Yes in the test setup will be returned in the HL7 laboratory result by using the same code. In this case, TM93 and VL47 question codes are also used as result codes to return the laboratory result. These question codes should also be built in the LIS test dictionary.