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As an aid to easy use of the Laboratory Informatic Institute's LIMSpec for the Physician Office Laboratory, a glossary of terms used is provided, along with a list of agencies and organizations whose standards apply to POL informatics, and standards and regulations cited on individual specifications.


This page is a glossary of terms used in the LIMSpec for the Physician Office Laboratory, with links to other wikis or appropriate sites as available.

A Microsoft service that allows users to use a single sign-on username and password to access multiple things, like an application and the network or LAN on which it is located.

Application Programming Interface. A language and message format used by an application program to communicate with the operating system or some other control program such as a database management system (DBMS) or communications protocol.[1] An LIS or EHR should be able to interface with any other applications, databases or systems if they have one of these. Otherwise, file sharing is used, where one app creates a file somewhere and the other detects it and copies it over.

The Business Associate Agreement. HIPAA requires that any companies conducting business with a HIPAA-regulated entity must sign a BAA that ensures they comply with HIPAA regulations governing such relationships.

Cloud Hosting
The "Cloud" and "cloud computing" are the latest buzzwords in a longtime move toward storage of information on the Internet rather than on individual hard drives. It means that users don't have to be in the data center business just to use applications. An example of a high quality cloud hosting infrastructure is a dedicated, custom-designed network of servers, SANs and related hardware and software housed in secure Tier 4 redundant data centers, and guaranteeing 99.9% uptime or better with full data protection and security.

Compatibility Mode
This is a setting in Web Browsers or other software that enables it to be backward-compatible with earlier versions of itself. For instance, in 2015, the LabLynx POL LIS, HealthCloudPOL works best with IE browser versions 8-10, so later versions should be set to "Compatibility Mode". .

Commercial, off-the shelf. This refers to the standard template or reference software version that all variations, customizations, etc. for different customers are based upon. It is the original version of the app that is initially provisioned.

Domain Name System (or Service or Server). All URLs or website addresses are actually numeric IP addresss. The use of letters/words to make them make sense and be memorable for people means these need to be converted so we can type them in the address field of a web browser. DNS services provide this conversion.

Laboratory Informatics
Essentially simply the management of laboratory information, today this includes a myriad of aspects including not just instrument results, but also patient information (which often is HIPAA-regulated as PHI, or Protected Health Information), historic trends, integrations between systems/databases, instruments, agencies etc.

A LAN is simply a group of computers linked in a local network. A common example is a home, shop or work wi-fi network.

The medical industry version of a LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System - pronounced as a word).

Protected Health Information. This refers to patient information subject to the privacy requirements regulated by HIPAA|HIPAA. See HIPAA|HIPAA.

Physician Office Laboratory. Growing trend where physicians’ offices choose to do certain tests onsite rather than sending out to a reference lab. Most opt for a handful of common tests of low complexity, requiring only a CLIA waiver license. A CLIA waived tests license is cheaper than licensing for CLIA testing, and thus suits physician offices, whose main business is seeing patients rather than testing. However, many POLs decide to purchase one or more major testing instruments like a blood or urine analyzer or more, adding to the number and complexity of the tests they offer. POLs may not, under CLIA rules, offer testing for outside entities (a la reference labs), otherwise they will no longer be classified as a POL and licensing requirements change accordingly.

Provider-Performed Microscopy. This is one of a set of CLIA Test Categories based on complexity. It includes microscopy tests of moderate complexity, often performed along with CLIA-waived tests in many POLs.


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