In a previous post on interface documentation and sample HL7 messages, I touched on four guidelines for using sample messages. We’re working on software that will make it easier to use sample messages effectively in your HL7 integration projects. The software is called Caristix Reader, and it will be available free of charge upon release. A beta version is now available for download and evaluation here.
Caristix Reader and Sample HL7 Messages
1. Message Structure
Caristix Reader captures message structures from sample messages. So you won’t have to look up z-segments or count pipes to find the right Patient ID field.
2. Message Content
Caristix Reader captures message content and data values from sample messages. So you have a list of values from key fields such as OBX.2 and OBX.5.
Maximizing Value from Sample HL7 Messages
Use a large sample.
If you can, grab at least 3 days of messages. A week’s worth would be even better. Caristix Reader loads HL7 logs and generates a spec containing the message structure and content.
Filter the HL7 messages you need.
Message logs can be noisy. They might contain test messages or messages from systems that aren’t relevant to the interface you’re building. Caristix Reader lets you keep just the messages you need.
Share your knowledge.
Once you’ve extracted the message content and structure, Caristix Reader lets you share as much as of this information as needed. Copy portions to Excel or Word, or send a complete HL7 profile to another Caristix Reader user.