There are several headaches and issues that come with installing applications on computers – namely: user account permissions, different operating system compatibilities, required frameworks and software, pushing/downloading software updates on every PC, etc.
Therefore, preLink decided to instead go the web-based application route. This means that a computer with a modern browser can access preLink, no software installation is required, and it is always up to date.
This also allows preLink to run from one central location, preferably a cloud hosted location, where all the depots, satellite laboratories and clients can access Prelink.
Paperless or Paper request forms
The system can be run completely paperless, or it can scan paper-based request forms from clients.
Paper-based request forms can be pre-printed from the lab or external provider, or they can be any form from the client. They just require a unique request form barcode.
Prelink supports the use of internally generated barcodes or pre-printed barcodes from an external source. Prelink is able to generate and print on-demand barcodes or batches of request form barcodes.
It is also able to generate all the required barcodes for all the specimens linked to the request. These are very important as they are used throughout the system for analyzer ordering and resulting, tracking, storage, etc.
Data capture can be performed from a central location, or it can be performed by users at various locations. Every user will be configured to capture for a single location or several locations, depending on what they are allowed to view.
Data capture can be performed directly off the paper-based request form, via the electronically available scanned request form, or via the REST API available to external systems.
If paper-based request forms are scanned into preLink, the barcode recognition service will identify the barcode and then either create the request or associate the scanned form to the request (based on the system settings).
Prelink contains a booking form that is accessible to the public. It allows a patient (or guarantor) to create a simple booking request by capturing all the patient and guarantor details. They will then receive a booking reference number that must be presented on arrival.
This speeds up the entire capturing process as all the patient and guarantor demographics would already be captured and available to the lab on arrival. The lab would only need to check the demographics and order the appropriate tests to convert the booking into a full request.