What is IDEXX VetLab Station (IVLS)?
The IDEXX Vetlab Station is a laboratory information management system created by IDEXX. It connects, manages and communicates with one or more IDEXX analysers, such as LaserCyte, ProCyte Dx, Catalyst Dx and LaserCyte Dx.
What Does the Integration Offer?
Provet Cloud offers seamless two-way integration with your internal IDEXX VetLab Station (IVLS). This has several advantages:
- From Provet Cloud, you can send laboratory referrals containing patient and owner information and the requested analyses directly to the IVLS for selection and use. You will not have to manually enter patient information into the IVLS if it exists properly in Provet Cloud.
- Completed results from the IVLS are automatically transferred into the consultation and the patient record in Provet Cloud. You will not have to manually type results into Provet Cloud or use prints and scans.
- The integration can be set up so the IVLS can receive requests from one or several Provet Cloud departments.
Is the Integration Included in My Subscription?
Depending on your country of operation, the IDEXX VetLab Station integration may be a paid add-on to the base subscription of Provet Cloud. Please contact sales or support for information.
Terminology and Abbreviations
IDEXX VetLab Station: Abbreviated as IVLS. This is the central IDEXX-branded computer that connects all IDEXX analysers and, in turn, connects to another Windows computer that hosts its integration software - the IDEXX InterLink.
IDEXX InterLink™: Often abbreviated as InterLink. This is a program from IDEXX that is used to connect with various external parties, such as practice management systems like Provet Cloud.
IDEXX InterLink Cloud Plug-in™: Abbreviated as ICP. This program is installed into the same computer that hosts the InterLink program. This is developed by Provet Cloud and creates a connection between Provet Cloud and the InterLink program.
Overview of Workflow
The general workflow of the integration is as follows:
- A laboratory item that is designated as an IVLS analysis is used in Provet Cloud (added to a consultation). Based on that, a laboratory referral is automatically created, and the item will be part of it.
- Provet Cloud sends the referral to the ICP. It contains the client and patient information and required analyses.
- InterLink retrieves this request from ICP and sends it to the IVLS. The request appears on the IVLS screen and can then be processed with the actual physical sample as usual.
- Once the results are generated by the IVLS, InterLink receives them from the IVLS as a referral result file and makes it available for the ICP.
- ICP sends the result file to Provet Cloud. Provet Cloud attempts to match the referral and results with a referral in Provet Cloud. The results are shown on laboratory items on referrals and consultations. In addition, the result PDF files with graphs may come with the referral.
Note that some parts of this tutorial are fairly technical, and knowledge of your network setup and software installations is required. You may need additional help from your local IT specialist.
Integration setup may require in-person assistance. The integration is often set up during the implementation process. In some cases, your local IDEXX representative may also help with this. Please contact your implementer or Provet Cloud support for further assistance.
1. Check the hardware and network requirements.
The main technical prerequisites for the integration are that you need to have a Windows computer (all versions of Windows 10 or 11 recommended) in the same local area network as the IVLS and its devices, and all devices need internet access. The computer is needed to host the applications that maintain the integration. Note that the computer must be separate from the IVLS computer.
The computer needs to be running while the integration is needed, but it can be used for other tasks like using Provet Cloud itself because the software it hosts runs in the background. It is common for the clinic to dedicate an always-on computer in the laboratory for the integration, which laboratory technicians and other employees can also use. The computer and the network should follow the general Provet Cloud system requirements for optimal performance.
The image below depicts the simplest possible solution. Often, the network setup is more complicated, especially in a hospital environment. You may need help from your local IT technician to determine the required actions.
2. Check or install IDEXX InterLink.
Once you have determined that the network setup is suitable, you can proceed with installing and setting up the two required programs on the computer.
The first of these is IDEXX InterLink. This program is usually already installed by the IDEXX representative and should run in the background. If it is already installed, proceed to step 3 (Check and adjust integration settings in the IVLS).
- Download the Interlink application and start the installer.
- Answer Yes when prompted with the question 'Do you want to integrate this software with your IDEXX VetLab Station?'
- Make sure that Auto-detect is selected.
- Name the connection as 'Provet'.
- Select Next as prompted until the installation is complete, and make sure no path settings are changed from the default selections.
3. Check and adjust the integration settings in the IVLS.
This is needed so that the IVLS will integrate properly with the InterLink program.
- Select Settings from the main menu screen of your IVLS to open the settings menu and select the Practice Management tab.
- In the bottom part of the tab in the settings, select the Requisition ID option 'Display'. You may also select 'Required' if you prefer that the staff always enters the request ID when starting new analyses manually (without the request that arrives from Provet Cloud).
- Select Other from the tab options and then select Configure.
- In the configuration, ensure that 'Auto-Connect' is selected and name the integration as 'Provet'. Then select OK to confirm and save.
- Restart the IVLS to make sure that the settings are applied.
Once your IVLS has fully restarted, you will see an icon titled 'Provet' in the lower part of the screen. This icon should be green if the integration connectivity is successful. Any new test requests from Provet Cloud will appear in the Pending tab for selection and use.
NOTE: If the integration icon is not green, it indicates either a network or installation problem. You may need to reinstall the IDEXX InterLink if it was installed with unsuitable installation options (see above).
The following video shows the steps to adjust the settings.
4. Install IDEXX Interlink Cloud Plug-In (ICP).
The second required application is IDEXX InterLink Cloud Plug-In - a program developed by Provet Cloud specifically for retrieving IVLS results and forwarding them to Provet Cloud.
Download the application from this page and start the installer.
Follow the installer process, selecting Next as prompted until the installation is complete. Make sure no path settings are changed from the default selections. After the installation is complete, you can also update the program through itself.
Please contact Provet Cloud support if you experience issues with the Cloud Plug-In download or installation.
5. Adjust the InterLink Cloud Plug-In (ICP) and Provet Cloud settings.
This is needed so Provet Cloud can successfully send requests and receive results from the ICP program.
5.1. Open the ICP and Provet Cloud integration settings.
After the installation, the ICP application can be found on the computer's desktop. Open it and navigate to the General and IVLS Settings tab (see the image below).
Leaving the ICP running, also open your Provet Cloud working environment. Navigate to Settings > General > Integrations > IDEXX VetLab Station connection.
The image below shows a part of the ICP application's settings tab.
5.2. Enable the integration from Provet Cloud and create a password.
Open the IDEXX VetLab Station connection in Provet Cloud settings for editing and tick the Enable IDEXX Vetlab Station connection checkbox to enable the integration from the Provet Cloud side.
Create a custom password in the Password field. In the ICP settings, enter or copy the same password into the Password field. The password field is on the settings tab pictured above.
For the other options under the IVLS connection settings in Provet Cloud, you may keep the default settings.
5.3. Copy Request and Result URLs to the ICP settings.
Under the IVLS connection settings in Provet Cloud, find the settings Work Request Service URL and Results Service URL and copy the URLs (web addresses) to the respective fields in the ICP settings. The fields are in the settings tab pictured in step 5.1.
5.4. Configure Unit ID.
Unit ID refers to the technical ID of the department (location) in Provet Cloud. If your clinic only has one department, you can skip this setting as the default setting of '1' is already correct.
Otherwise, check your department ID from the integration settings in Provet Cloud and enter the same number into the Unit ID field in the ICP settings. The field is also in the settings tab pictured in step 5.1.
If a single laboratory (single IVLS) is used by more than one department, list the unit IDs, separated with commas, for example, 1, 2, 3.
5.5. Enable Auto-Send and Autostart.
In the ICP settings, tick the Result auto-send enabled and Autostart checkboxes. This ensures that results are automatically sent to Provet Cloud, and the ICP program automatically starts every time the computer is started.
Finally, select Save Settings from the ICP settings.
6. Set up or adjust the laboratory items and panels.
For the process to work, you must set up or adjust the laboratory items in your item list. There are two relevant laboratory item profile elements: the IDEXX Vetlab Station analysis checkbox and the Code field.
The IDEXX Vetlab Station analysis checkbox option is required for triggering the referral sending process from Provet Cloud to the IVLS. When an item with this option enabled is added to a consultation (to a laboratory referral), the laboratory referral is sent to the IVLS through the integration process. It is enough to have only one such item on the referral, other items do not have the option enabled (it is allowed, however). If there are no items with the option enabled on the referral, it will not be sent.
NOTE: These analyses can also be part of any laboratory panels you may want to create or use. If you use a panel that has at least one laboratory item with the option enabled, a referral will be created and sent to the IVLS.
The second relevant field is the Code field. The field is used for matching incoming results with laboratory items that appear on referrals and consultations in Provet Cloud. Laboratory items will display the results on their rows.
During the initial setup, entering codes is optional. In principle, there are two ways to go about it - to design all items with codes if the information is available, or let the system create the required laboratory analysis items automatically, as described below.
For example, the integration can be implemented so that only one laboratory item is initially marked as an IVLS analysis. If that item is used and the results come back, all the necessary items are created automatically for displaying the results. This is potentially the easier way, but your preference may vary depending on your case. Please consult with your implementation specialist if necessary.
How the results are matched with a referral and items in Provet Cloud
The results from IVLS come in a referral result file as numerical values, matched to analysis codes. Some code examples include ALB, ALT, AST, CA, and GLU. These codes are created and designed by IDEXX.
First, Provet Cloud attempts to match the incoming results with a referral in Provet Cloud based on the referral number. The referral number is initially automatically generated in Provet Cloud.
If it does not find a match, the results will not be available in Provet Cloud (the transfer does not happen).
If it finds a match, it will also attempt to match individual results with laboratory items (analyses) in the referral. This is done based on the codes mentioned above and the Code field on laboratory items. The code in the field has to match the code in the results exactly.
- If Provet Cloud finds a laboratory item on the matching referral with a matching code, it will match the result with that item.
- If Provet Cloud does not find a match, it will try to look for a laboratory item with a matching code from the item list the department uses.
- If it finds a matching item, it will add the item to the referral (and to the consultation) and connects the results with it.
- If it does not find a matching item, it creates an item with the matching code and name, adds it to the referral and connects the results with it. The price of this automatically created item is zero. Note that these items will appear on invoices unless you hide them with print settings (hiding zero-price items).
1. Find and prepare a test sample.
For full testing, it is optimal that an actual, physical sample is used. For example, you can use a leftover blood sample from a previous patient.
2. Create a test consultation.
In Provet Cloud, create a test consultation and navigate to the laboratory section on the consultation page.
3. Add a laboratory item to create a referral.
- Select the plus-button next to the laboratory section heading to begin the laboratory referral process.
- In the dialogue, find an analysis that is designated as an IVLS analysis.
- Select the plus-button on the row to add the analysis to the referral.
- Select Save to confirm and create the referral.
NOTE: Currently, laboratory referrals can only be created from consultations.
4. Process the referral on IVLS.
Check your IVLS main menu Pending list for the incoming laboratory referral. It is expected to be available within 30 seconds after creating the referral in Provet Cloud.
Select the pending referral and process it in the IVLS as usual.
5. Confirm the result arrival.
Once the analysis is complete in IVLS, confirm that test results have arrived in Provet Cloud.
- The Referral # should now be green, indicating that it is complete.
- The numerical results should be shown in the Result column.
- The units should be displayed in the Unit column.
- The reference values generated by IDEXX should be shown in the Reference value column.