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Pharmacists gain easy access to lab results from Certe

Some 200 pharmacists in the Dutch provinces of Groningen, Friesland, and Drenthe are automatically receiving lab results from medical diagnostics centre Certe through their pharmacy information system. This enables the pharmacists to easily look up their patients’ latest laboratory results and make a proper assessment when prescribing dosage and type of medication. An efficient and user-friendly approach, in the interest of pharmacovigilance.

Hans Boon, Brigitte Duyvendak, Ebian Brill

Lab information is shared through the Enovation Platform. Certe uses eLabConnect (based on Enovation XDS) to make lab data from the laboratory information system available to pharmacists. When a pharmacy receives a push notification via Secure Mail (ZorgMail) Lab4Apo, the lab value can be linked to the pharmacy information system.

Hans Boon, Application Manager at Certe explains: “With the implementation, we are proactively ensuring that community pharmacies and hospital pharmacies have up-to-date information. In turn, this enables them to serve patients optimally.”


Making results readily available took a lot of effort. Pharmacists needed to subscribe to ZorgMail (Secure Mail) Lab4Apo. As almost all pharmacies already had a ZorgMail account, in most case it was simply a matter of expanding their subscription. To keep pharmacists apprised and support them with the implementation, Certe joined forces with GERRIT, the regional cooperative organisation (RSO) that assists healthcare providers in the three northern Dutch provinces with innovations in healthcare communication.

It was an eventful journey, says Brigitte Duyvendak. She is a project pharmacist at GERRIT and looks back on the collaboration with satisfaction. “In the three northern provinces, we were the first to establish such a large-scale connection with ZorgMail Lab4Apo. Certe has been a real pioneer here, really buckling down with us and Enovation to get this great result.” Hans Boon is enthusiastic about the collaboration, too: “Each one of these organisations is strong in one area of the service. This is where the strength of our collaboration lies.”

In practice

Accessing lab results from Certe saves pharmacies a lot of time. Ebian Brill, pharmacist and co-owner of Apothekersgroep Groningen (Pharmacist Group Groningen), shares the example of checking patients’ renal function: “With many drugs, the dosage is dependent on a patient’s renal function. We always check this in the pharmacy. Having direct digital access to lab results from Certe means that we always have up-to-date lab values and can carry out checks like these even faster.”

Smooth transition

Behind the scenes, the teams worked hard on a smooth transition. The pharmacies’ systems were made compatible with ZorgMail Lab4Apo and the sharing of information with Certe step by step. The pharmacists continued using a viewer until the new solution was operational. The viewer only gave them access to lab results; a great benefit of eLabConnect, in combination with ZorgMail Lab4Apo, is that pharmacists are able to automatically save lab data in their information system as well. This is, of course, contingent upon the patient giving consent. Consent registration is also well organised in this solution and method of exchange.


“Certe is eager to innovate, so we see a migration like this as a challenge,” Hans adds. He is pleased that the launch was carried out carefully, that it didn’t cause any disruption in healthcare providers’ daily work, and that the solution meets all key requirements. For example, proper support for capturing the patient’s consent has been built in. What’s more, close attention was paid to the accuracy and consistency of data. Because it is vital for pharmacists to work with reliable data, a data validation process was incorporated in each pharmacy information system. Certe determined that all data transmitted are being displayed properly in the pharmacy information system. Peak loads were also properly considered: the application supports high volumes, which avoids systems becoming overloaded when many pharmacies simultaneously access it.

Expanding the data set

Both Certe and the pharmacists are benefiting substantially from the solution. Meanwhile, developments haven’t come to a halt. Healthcare providers and standardisation experts are working on expanding the data set nationwide. It can currently exchange seven lab values, but in the near future this may exceed seventy. “That’s a great prospect, the benefits of which the northern provinces will soon be able to reap, thanks to strong collaboration,” concludes Brigitte.

Various Enovation Platform products were applied in this client case:

Enovation XDS

Enovation XDS enables collaborating organisations (healthcare and other) to share digital medical images and documents as per international IHE standards.

Enovation XDS

ZorgMail Lab4Apo and eLabConnect

eLabConnect enables laboratories to provide up-to-date and reliable lab values to pharmacies. Upon securing patient consent, pharmacies will be able to access these data through Lab4Apo. With this approach, they collaborate on the patient’s drug safety.


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