Anytime you submit a lab order thru a Scalabull interface, you will immediately receive a specimen label PDF.
This label can be accessed from within your EHR, printed onto special label paper, and attached to specimens before they are collected by the lab. These typically include identifiers or barcodes that the lab will use to match specimens to an electronic order they've received.
This workflow applies to all labs except LabCorp. For users of LabCorp interfaces, see the LabCorp section below.
We recommend printing specimen label PDFs on one of two sizes of label paper:
- 30336 (1" x 2 1/8" )
- 30252 (1 1/8" x 3 1/2")
These sizes accommodate most specimen containers, and our specimen labels are tested to fit into these sizes without warping or truncation of barcodes.
Label printers are not provided by Scalabull or the practice's EHR vendor. Sometimes these are provided by laboratories, but generally, practices should plan to purchase their own equipment to meet their needs.
Each of the following entry-level label printers is widely used, supports the above label sizes, and will work for typical lab ordering volumes:
The DYMO Turbo 550 is the most robust printer of the above recommendations. We especially recommend a DYMO printer in either of these cases:
- You want to print from multiple computers in your office
- You handle hundreds or thousands of specimens per month at a single facility
Please note that LabCorp provides a different type of specimen label, which is included directly inside of the requisition PDF (at the bottom of the first page). This requisition can be printed with a specific printer on special paper provided by LabCorp.
Please communicate with LabCorp directly for any inquiries about printing requisitions or specimen labels for your LabCorp interface.
Our label barcodes are customized to meet the needs of each laboratory, and in some cases, practices as well. We currently support the following options:
- Code 128 barcode which includes the Order ID. This format is accepted by all barcode scanners we've encountered and has worked for the hundreds of labs we've worked with.
- Order ID (sometimes also referred to as the Control ID, or Requistion ID)
- The time of sample collection, formatted like so: MM/DD/YYYY HH:mm
- The time the label is printed (same formatting as sample collection time)
- Patient Last Name, Patient First Name (up to 25 characters of the last name, 15 characters of the first name)
- Patient Date of Birth, formatted like so: MM/DD/YYYY
When placing orders thru HL7 interfaces, it's helpful for the receiving laboratory or radiology organization to have prior information about the insurances that will be sent by the ordering practice(s). For some labs, this information is mandatory, otherwise, their billing processes will not work correctly.
If this is required for your interface, please request an insurance export directly from the EHR. We can also assist with this during the interface setup process.
The default format used by our EHR partners is here and includes the insurance name, a unique ID, street address, city, state, zip.
Labs and 3rd parties connecting with Scalabull: if possible, please use this format when providing us with a compendium (AOEs are supported).
Our HL7 Spec is here. This is simply a guideline that outlines common configurations we use.
Our system will automatically adapt to match your HL7 results. We typically recommend using a results message format that you've used on another recent interface project, and our system will adapt. There are only a few exceptions to this:
- If you include an embedded PDF, the base64 content should be sent in a single segment (typically we see this in an OBX ED, or a specialized Z segment). The content should not be broken up across multiple segments (e.g. due to character limits).
- We don't accept NTEs between ORC and OBR segments. NTEs at the ORC level should be moved to the OBR level.
For orders, our default (preferred) HL7 message format is outlined in our spec.
Adjustments to the orders message spec:
We can adjust this format if necessary. Some common adjustments include:
- By default, AOEs will be sent in OBX segments but these can be switched to NTEs if needed.
- By default, the IN1 segment is always sent, even for patient and client bill types. The IN1 can be suppressed for Patient/Client bill types if needed. If suppressed we'll generally send the default bill code in a segment other than IN1 (see comments on default bill codes below).
- By default, the PV1 segment will be suppressed, but this can be added if needed. There's no extra data added, just a rearrangement of data if PV1 is needed in addition to PID.
- 6 types of insurances are sent: Client (also referred to as Account), Patient, Medicare, Medicaid, Private Insurance, and HMOs. Generally, Medicare, Medicaid, Private Insurance, and HMOs are grouped together as 'Third Party' Insurances. See the mappings below for more clarity.
- Sometimes LIS/LIMS require default insurance codes in the IN1 segment when Client (Account) or Patient bill types or sent, or when third-party insurance is sent without a code. If this sounds familiar please reference the default insurance code mappings below - these can be adjusted as needed.
HL7 order message field mappings:
Any HL7 mappings can be adjusted as needed. The default mappings are below:
Insurance Type (normally IN1.47.1)
Private Insurance: T
Default Insurance Codes (if needed):
Private Insurance: 9999999
Insured relationship to Patient:
Guarantor relationship to Patient: