Clinical Biochemistry – NHS Heartlands Hospital

Transcription free integration solution for AB Sciex LC MS-MS instruments and the iSoft Telepath system for routine Vitamin D Analysis

The following automation solution was prepared in collaboration with Craig Webster and Rachel Henderson at the Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham and is an example of the type of integration possible between Mass Spectrometry instruments and Clinical LIMS or middleware systems.

CSols Clinical Biochemistry Software Solutions -Transcription free Interfacing at Heartlands Poster

Hospital Laboratory – Vitamin D Analysis Interfacing Solution

AB Sciex Triple Quad mass spectrometry systems are now being routinely used in pathology laboratories to screen for Vitamin D in plasma samples where clinicians suspect a Vitamin D deficiency or related condition. As an example at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital an AB Sciex 4500 LC-MS/MS instrument is used to provide the necessary sensitivity to perform this assay and detect both Vitamin D2 and D3 forms as an alternative to the existing immuno assay methods.

At Heartlands the iSOFT Telepath LIMS/LIS database system is used request tests and to transmit results to users. Telepath runs on a central server and supports 100 users across 4 departments. It operates 24 hours a day and routinely processes 1,000,000 samples per year. Although access to it is from a number of networked PCs in the laboratory, there was still a lot of manual transcription steps to correctly assign samples, set up the instrument, process results correctly and link to Telepath. Often routine interaction with Telepath for this analysis alone was three man hours per instrument run (usually one run per day).

Role of Links for LIMS

Links for LIMS has been implemented at Heartlands to eliminate all the transcriptions carried out between the LC/MS-MS instrument and Telepath and to assist with the automation performed by a Tecan Evo sample preparation robot.

csols links for lims tecan freedom evo robot

Links for LIMS fully compliments the operation of the instrument software and Telepath offering the following facilities :

  • direct reading of the samples and position on the 96 well plate created by the Tecan Evo
  • more extensive instrument run sequence building with direct access to Telepath to fetch and display patient and specimen details on screen
  • ability to accept and process dilution factor overrides on different injection volumes for smaller samples and to easily move or add samples or QC into the run
  • automatic run file naming, and create of instrument variables as well as placement of files to help with consistency and easier data storage
  • reading and extraction of the data from the result file produce by Analyst and synchronization with all sample information
  • data analysis of the results with a variety of calculations, handling of duplicates, data formatting and/or rounding, recovery calculations as well as automatic drift and blank correction performance verification with statistical checking and charting of AQCs, flagging of failures, monitoring Internal standard signals and calibrations
  • easily download reportable results to Telepath

CSols AqcTools for improved monitoring of analytical quality performance - Vitamin D2 analysis


Links for LIMS offers Heartlands the following benefits:

• a significant reduction in sample administration time as there is no need to prepare Telepath worklists as samples can be processed via the Tecan robot
• no need to sort samples arriving in the laboratory to the order on the worklist by working in a real time mode request data from Telepath using the sample barcodes
• consistent and rapid building of the instrument queues in the standardized order containing samples and controls
• transcription free transfer of results for review with the sample details saving considerable time in interpretation and previous manual entry of results into Telepath
• immediate monitoring of AQCs to track instrument performance and to meet CPA requirements

Click the link to download the CSols – Heartlands – Storyboard

Further information

Links for LIMS is not limited to running the applications that are described above and can be used for many other LC-MS/MS applications, with other vendor instruments and with a range of different LIMS systems. For a copy of an article describing the solution above, for further information about another instrument application or for a demonstration please ask via our enquiry page or call or email us at:

CSols Ltd. The Heath, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 4QX, UK Tel:   +44 (0) 1928 513535 Web:

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