1.1 This standard coven the two-way digital transmission of remote requests and results between clinical instruments and computer systems. It is intended to document the common conventions required for the interchange of clinical results and patient data between clinical instruments and computer systems. This standard specifies the message content for transferring information between a clinical instrument and a computer system. It enables any two such systems to establish a logical link for communicating text to send result, request, or demographic information in a standard and interpretable form. This standard does not necessarily apply to general analytical instruments in an industrial analytical nor research and development setting.
1.2 This standard specification is intended to apply to the structure of messages exchanged between clinical instruments and computer systems by means of defined communications protocols. Low-level communications protocols and data transfer requirements are beyond the scope of this standard. A separate specification is available from ASTM detailing a standard for low-level data transfer communications (see Specification E 1381).
1.3 This standard specifies the conventions for structuring the content of the message and for representing the data elements contained within those structures. It is applicable to all text oriented clinical instrumentation. It has been specifically created to provide common conventions for interfacing computers and instruments in a clinical setting. It would also be applicable to interfacing instruments in clinical practice settings, such as physicians' offices, clinics, and satellite laboratories.