Primary Care Pathology Report Messaging
NHS Digital supports the digital reporting of pathology test results from NHS labs to GPs, amounting to approximately 50 million reports per year.
NHS Digital supports the digital reporting of pathology test results from NHS labs to GPs, amounting to approximately 50 million reports per year. These messages are transferred using Message Exchange for Social care and Health (MESH). The message standard used for this data flow is defined as an NHS information standard (ISB 1557). The data used within this message is called the Pathology Bounded Code List or PBCL.
In support of the data quality within these messages, NHS Digital provides the National Message Assurance Service or NMAS.
The Pathology Bounded Code List (PBCL), formerly known as the Laboratory Messaging Subset, has been developed to provide a defined or bounded subset of Read Codes for use in lab to GP messaging.
Use of the Pathology Bounded Code List will ensure that there is common understanding by both sending and receiving clinicians of the laboratory investigations performed.
This is a true mathematical subset, with exclusion of codes from the full list of Read Codes in order to avoid duplication or to ensure explicit meaning.
The subset also contains additional guidance on use of the codes, such as whether a code can be a test, battery or both.
Trust pathology Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) software, developed against the Pathology Mesaging Implementation Programme (PMIP) technical product set, will be able to make use of this additional guidance information to assist laboratories in their mapping of local investigation codes.
For a full explanation of the purpose and use of the Pathology Bounded Code List and the structure of the file, readers should refer to the documentation within the PMIP Technical Products and the latest release notes included in the Technology Reference data Update Distribution (TRUD) PBCL subpack.
The latest release of the PBCL
The latest release of the PBCL is that for 1 October 2016 as part of the October 2016 Clinical Terms (The Read Codes) release. Users should refer to the documentation in the release pack for more detail on changes and additions.
The latest version of the PBCL is 1.034
To obtain the latest version of the PBCL please register on TRUD.
The required sub-pack is as follows: PBCL_126.96.36.19961001000001"
The National Messaging Assurance Service (NMAS) is a fully automated service that provides:
- message checking - checks the validity of inbound messages without any knowledge of what data content was expected by the message sender
- laboratory implementation testing - incorporates message checking but mainly tests inbound messages against a predetermined data content
- clinical governance message checking - the same as message checking it is used to ensure ongoing quality of a laboratory's Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) pathology reports implementation
- General Practice testing - test request
- General Practice testing - response analysis
This service was officially closed down on 9th December and was replaced with NMAS-R.
NMAS came to an end because it was built on technologies and software which were no longer supported. Differences between the old service and the new are that:
- NMAS-R can only send reports to NHSmail accounts - laboratory personnel can find out about registering for an account at the NHSmail support site
- NMAS-R currently provides both message checking and clinical governance message checking - the remaining services will be re-introduced during further stages of development work
Messaging Exchange for Social care and Health
The Messaging Exchange for Social Care and Health (MESH) is the main messaging service used across health and social care. It works on the Spine infrastructure. It's used to transfer electronic messages directly from one application to another, so different organisations can communicate securely.