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From the CDC: The laboratory performance information exchange system.

The Public Health Practice Program Office, Centers for Disease Control, has developed a Model Performance Evaluation Program (MPEP) to assess the quality and effectiveness of lab performance in testing for newly recognized infections of public health significance. Currently, MPEP focuses on antibody testing for human immunodeficiency virus type I (HIV-1), human T-lymphotropic virus types I and II (HTLV-I/II), and T-lymphocyte immunophenotyping by flow cytometry. One aspect of MPEP is the Laboratory Performance Information Exchange System (LPIES), a computer-based, electronic communications system designed to improve lab performance through:

(paragraph) Retroviral and AIDS-related testing problem identification and problem resolution.

(paragraph) Electronic messages for communication among laboratorians,

(paragraph) Electronic collection and distribution of laboratory testing performance evaluation data,

(paragraph) Access to AIDS-related laboratory information, and

(paragraph) Electronic conferences among laboratorians.

Substantial enhancements have been made to the system since it was first announced in February 1990. With eight telephone lines available, as many as eight people can participate simultaneously in electronic conferences. The electronic mail feature permits sending public or private messages, attaching files to messages (text reports, spreadsheets, or executable programs), automatic notification when a message is read, sending of carbon copies, and electronic mail message threads.

A global file finder is also available. Simple script questionnaire files can be posted on the system to collect any kind of information needed from the users. The data from the script files can then be analyzed via computer.

The information on LPIES is divided into cabinets and subdivided into drawers and folders within each cabinet. For example, the AIDS cabinet has one drawer, GENERAL, containing several folders: STATISTICS (AIDS Statistics), GUIDELINES (HIV Testing Guidelines), NEWS (AIDS-Related News Items), and RESOURCES (Sources of Additional AIDS Information). Figure I provides a list of all available cabinets as they appear on the LPIES screen. Figures II and III, respectively, display the LPIES structure and types of files that are included in the system. Examples of journal articles available are listed in Figure IV.

Professional laboratories and other health care workers interested in retroviral and AIDS-related laboratory testing (HIV-1, HTLV-I/II, or TLI) can access this system via modem by calling 1-800-522-6388, toll free. An enhanced security system that includes user registration was implemented in February 1991 to focus on the target user population. Located in Research Triangle Park, N.C., LPIES supports 300-to 9600-baud asynchronous communications. The system is compatible with most computers, modems, and communications programs and protocols. To access LPIES, set your communications parameters to eight data bits, one stop bit, no parity, full duplex, and echo off.

For more information, or if you have any questions about LPIES, please call the LPIES system manager at Program Resources, Inc., at 1-800-322-4383 toll free (919-549-8330 in North Carolina) or Dr. Roger Taylor at CDC, PHPPO, at 404-639-2137. The voice line is available weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.
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Title Annotation:Centers for Disease Control
Author:Taylor, Roger N.
Publication:Medical Laboratory Observer
Date:Jan 1, 1992
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