What’s the Glue Holding EHR Migration and Conversion Projects Together?

By | Published: August 14th, 2015

Caristix is sponsoring a series of blogs posts on John Lynn’s Hospital EMR and EHR blog. You can read the latest post, What’s the Glue Holding EHR Migration and Conversion Projects Together? here:

We’re focusing on the particular issues of QA. What are the tools you need to support the work of your QA teams?

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What Can HIEs Do to Overcome Interoperability Barriers?

By | Published: October 21st, 2014

Cost and technical barriers?

As soon as you hear the word “interoperability” in healthcare, “cost” and “complexity” are right around the corner. If you’re a technical leader at an HIE, this won’t come as a shock. In a recent survey, 59% of HIEs see the cost of interface development as a barrier. And another 38% view technical difficulty in interfacing as their biggest hurdle.

So what’s the solution? 

For starters, there is no easy technical fix. Direct messaging can tackle some use cases. [...]

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Categories : Healthcare integration

Resources for CDA, CCD, and Consolidated CDA Documents

By | Published: May 7th, 2014

In our discussions with vendors and providers on these new standards, we’ve seen a wide range of learning curves. Some people are just getting started, while others are knee-deep in live exchange. What are the tools and resources that are out there? This blog post gives you a handy list  of resources for CDA, CCD and consolidated CDA documents to get started.

Start with HL7 International

HL7 International is the standards developing organization for healthcare data exchange and integration. They provide the [...]

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Gap Analysis and CCD Document Specification

By | Published: April 28th, 2014

Bridging the Gaps

In a previous post on CCD, C-CDA, and CDA, we compared HL7 v2 messaging to CCD development. This week’s article is about the biggest roadblock with CCD document specification: gap analysis.

What is Gap Analysis?

Simply put, gap analysis is about understanding the differences in the data between two systems. The output of a gap analysis process is a list of all the differences between two systems charted in a requirements document. With HL7 v2 messaging, many organizations create their [...]

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HL7v2 to CCD

By | Published: April 22nd, 2014

Confused? Start with What You Know

Over the past few months, we’ve heard a lot from our hospital-based customers about CCD and C-CDA readiness. There’s more urgency with Meaningful Use Stage 2 deadlines, even with the extension.

But the funny thing is: hardly anyone ever says, darn, but this is confusing.

Sometimes people express their frustration. “What the heck are those regulators doing? Why are they pushing more stuff at us, when we’re barely able to keep up as it is?”

Others bury their [...]

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What is One-Hour Interoperability?

By | Published: April 15th, 2014

The Status Quo

This is the world interface analysts, developers, and quality testers work in:

2 weeks to get a list of code values for a single field
1 week to get a list of custom field formats like lab order codes
20 hours to code a schema in an engine from a spec in Excel
9 days on gap analysis
30 days to test a 10-minute code change
8 versions of a spec before it’s baked enough for development

Productivity with Caristix

With our software, especially with the [...]

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Workgroup Software Demo Webinar: Part 6

By | Published: April 8th, 2014

A 16-minute Introduction to Caristix Workgroup: Part Six

We’re wrapping up our Introduction to Workgroup with Part 6 (1:30 minutes) We designed this demo webinar to give you a bird’s-eye view of Workgroup software. And we’ve covered a lot in a short 16 minutes, demonstrating just how comprehensive Workgroup truly is.

In the wrap-up, you’ll learn:

the key business reason why analysts and developers need more than ad-hoc tools to deliver interoperability
what enables better customer collaboration
why Workgroup

We’re open to any and all feedback [...]

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Workgroup Software Demo Webinar: Part 5

By | Published: April 1st, 2014

A 16-minute Introduction to Caristix Workgroup: Part Five

When you work with patient data, you need to be vigilant about protecting privacy. Caristix Workgroup software covers the critical concern of removing PHI from HL7 data. The de-identification capabilities in Workgroup let you remove protected health information from production data and replace patient names, identifiers, and related data with either blanks or dummy data. This means the message flow looks and acts like realistic data with all customizations, Z-segments, and non-standard field [...]

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Workgroup Software Demo Webinar: Part 4

By | Published: March 25th, 2014

A 16-minute Introduction to Caristix Workgroup: Part Four

Ready for the next piece of our 16-minute webinar on Caristix Workgroup? Learn what Workgroup can do for you and your team to prevent costly project reworks and delays. Save time and dollars by removing the major bottleneck that testing often becomes.

In Part 4 (2 minutes), you’ll learn:

 All about using your workflow to drive validation
How to generate hundreds of test messages automatically
How one-step setup can save hours of testing time

Missed the first three [...]

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Workgroup Software Demo Webinar: Part 3

By | Published: March 18th, 2014

A 16-minute Introduction to Caristix Workgroup: Part Three

Not much time? That’s why we’re offering our 16-minute webinar on Caristix Workgroup Software in small easy-to-consume pieces for quick viewing.

In Part 3 (3 minutes), we introduce you to:

The documentation strengths of Caristix Workgroup software
Automatic Gap Analysis, for easy mapping table creation

In case you missed the first two parts:

In Part 1  (4-minutes), we introduced you to Workgroup , what exactly it is and why and who we designed it for.

In Part 2 (4-minutes), [...]

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Workgroup Software Demo Webinar Part 2

By | Published: March 11th, 2014

A 16-minute Introduction to Caristix Workgroup: Part Two

We know you’re busy. That’s why we’re offering our 16-minute webinar on Caristix Workgroup Software in bite-sized pieces for quick consumption.

In Part 1 (4-minutes), we introduced you to Workgroup, what exactly it is and why and who we designed it for.

In Part 2 (4-minutes) of the Introduction to Workgroup Webinar, we take a deeper dive into Workgroup functionality. You’ll see:

 Scoping – why it’s the most important phase
 How to reduce the time needed for [...]

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Workgroup Software Demo Webinar

By | Published: March 5th, 2014

A 16- minute Introduction to Caristix Workgroup Software

We’ve just developed a quick on-demand webinar that gives you the opportunity to take a bird’s-eye view of Caristix Workgroup software. See just what Workgroup can do for you and your specific teams and their projects.

No time for a full 60-minute webinar? Is 30 minutes too much? We get how busy interfacing team members are. That’s why made this a 16-minute Webinar.

In 16 minutes, you’ll learn what Workgroup is and what it can [...]

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Point-and-Click Interface Engine Migration

By | Published: February 19th, 2014

Announcing Caristix Converters

We gave you a sneek peak at our new Caristix technology, converters, in a previous blog post, Cutting Interface Costs, Continued. In this blog post, we discussed a big area where interface costs are extremely high: migrating from a legacy interface engine to a newer engine technology.

We had several customers tell us that out connectors were saving them a lot of programming time. But was there a way to use the connectors to migrate their interfaces? Now, there [...]

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Healthcare Integration: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

By | Published: December 17th, 2013

The premise of Marshall Goldsmith’s leadership book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, is simple: the habits and work methods that get you in the game won’t get you to up your game.

The same shift is happening in healthcare integration.

Where We Came From

5 years ago, a vendor analyst could fire up an HL7 message viewer tool or even Notepad++  and start reading through sample messages one by one to pick out unexpected PID.2  values over the course of [...]

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An Innovation Rant

By | Published: November 19th, 2013

Does innovation start with standards?

With interfacing and interoperability, there’s an unspoken assumption that innovation starts with standards. It seems like we wait for standards organizations, industry associations, and government edict to point the way. Someday, somehow, They will give us The Rules to make interoperability happen.

Instead of waiting, what if we, as vendors and providers, stepped in?

This is an amazing competitive opportunity for vendors and consultant that step in now. Today, the hourly rate business model is the bread and [...]

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Interfacing Costs, Ikea, and Physician Practices

By | Published: October 29th, 2013

“Interfacing costs? They’re too high.”

We hear that a lot. The cost is frustrating, especially to physicians who need to implement EMRs for Meaningful Use. First there are the license fees. Then you find out you need an interface. Or two. Or six. That number can expand with the interoperability requirements in Meaningful Use Stage 2.

Software Packages vs. Software Programs

Here’s why I think interfacing costs are frustrating. After 30 years of PC use and now BYOD smartphones and tablets, we’re used [...]

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Why Should You Care About Gap Analysis?

By | Published: October 15th, 2013

Meaningful Use, the changeover to ICD-10, the 2013 HIPAA Final Omnibus Rule, among other drivers, makes it clear that integration is an essential, critical process. How do hospital CIOs and healthcare information exchange (HIE) leaders find cost-effective ways to develop the HL7 interfacing that underlies such critical integration projects?

No matter what the bells and whistles of an integration engine or integration technology, if you cannot accurately scope the interfaces that need to be built, you’ll find yourself behind the eight [...]

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Integration for Healthcare Startups and Teams, Part 2

By | Published: August 20th, 2013

Developing the Interface

Image courtesy of sippakorn /

Now that you’ve scoped your interface/integration needs (covered in Part 1), the next step is to develop the interface based on that knowledge. Your interface spec should capture the following:

 Interface name
 Source or destination system name and version
 Message types used in the interface
 Message definitions including segments, fields, data types
 Segment and field attributes
 Data types
 HL7 tables
 Specialized interoperability challenges

When you combine these elements with your clinical or workflow constraints, they become your specification (or profile). You’ll [...]

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Categories : Healthcare integration

Integration for Healthcare Startups and Small Teams, Part 1

By | Published: August 5th, 2013

3 Considerations for Integrating Your Application in a Healthcare Provider Setting

Image courtesy of sippakorn /

As the technical lead in a healthcare startup, you’ve been focused on building an application – for example, a clinical analytics application for cardiac care – that meets the needs of your market: healthcare organizations and their users. You’ve already determined product functionality. Now you need to figure out how to integrate this application with key systems in your customer’s care setting — a [...]

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Categories : Healthcare integration

HL7 Survival Guide: Share Your Tips!

By | Published: October 18th, 2012

Been working in the HL7 integration trenches and solving tough problems?

Have a great tip for HL7 analysts and other members of the healthcare integration community?

Now’s your chance to share.

We’re working on putting together a new reference guide called The HL7 Survival Guide, for healthcare integration analysts and developers.

Why an HL7 Survival Guide?

There is great documentation from HL7 International and solid training available for new HL7 analysts and developers. But once you’ve got the basics under your belt, where do you [...]

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Categories : Healthcare integration

Do You Suffer from Interface Black Box Syndrome?

By | Published: June 20th, 2012


Interface Black Box Syndrome is characterized by lack of visibility into the critical details that can hurt an interface. It can affect any hospital IT leader who is responsible for interfacing, but the most susceptible are dependent on 3rd parties and/or consultants. Fortunately, Interface Black Box Syndrome is treatable, and there are ways to reduce the risk that the syndrome will recur.


The signs and symptoms are almost always chronic and sub-acute. But they can explode into a world of expensive [...]

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Categories : Healthcare integration

Webinar: Lean Integration and the HL7 Interface Lifecycle

By | Published: May 16th, 2012

Implementing or upgrading HIT systems and applications doesn’t mean much these days if they remain data islands unto themselves. Interfacing is the key to connectivity. But far too many teams rely on the drawn-out iterative processes of trial and error to get their interfaces created and tested. With interface counts reaching into the hundreds per hospital, your organization must find a way to get leaner and do more with less.

We’re sponsoring an educationally focused webinar where you’ll hear from CIOs [...]

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Categories : Healthcare integration

The Top 5 HL7 Interfacing Questions Facing New Hospital CIOs and IT Directors

By | Published: May 8th, 2012

Here are some of the most common issues I’ve come across when speaking with newly appointed hospital IT leaders faced with interfacing and integration issues.

1. I have hundreds of HL7 interfaces already (I think), and I am being asked to clean house. Where do I start? Start by inventorying your interfaces. Get a sense of how many interfaces are out there and document the systems they connect.

2. Are my interface consultants providing me with all documentation I am entitled to? [...]

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Categories : Healthcare integration

Reducing Manual Work through HL7 Interface Lifecycle Management

By | Published: April 24th, 2012

Caristix was selected to present at Interconnected Health 2012 recently, and we focused on a new concept, HL7 Interface Lifecycle Management.

Up till now, there’s been a sort of unspoken assumption in the industry: interfacing is a linear event based on simple drag-and-drop configuration within an interface engine. However, if you look at all of the tasks that are involved in interfacing, it is far more helpful to model interfacing as a lifecycle.

Here’s why.

HL7 provides a framework to support the process [...]

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Categories : Healthcare integration

May 24 Webinar: CIOs on Leaner HL7 Integration

By | Published: April 18th, 2012

Implementing systems doesn’t mean much these days if they remain data islands unto themselves, but far too many teams rely on the drawn-out iterative processes of trial and error to get their interfaces created and tested. With so many connections at play, your organization must find a way to get leaner and do more with less. We’re sponsoring an educationally focused webinar on this topic. You’ll hear from CIOs who have blasted away key bottlenecks in integration, leaving them able [...]

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Categories : Healthcare integration

What Are the Pitfalls of HL7 Interfacing?

By | Published: February 15th, 2012

One of the things we realized when we formed Caristix is that the biggest pitfall in HL7 interfacing isn’t coding or setting up the interface. With modern interface engines, that’s relatively easy. The real struggle is knowing how a system is constructed, where the gaps are, and what needs to be coded – this drives the work. In fact, when this scoping is handled effectively, all other aspects of interface creation and management go well. But when this stage is [...]

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Categories : Healthcare integration

Is HL7 Interface Trial and Error Working for You?

By | Published: February 7th, 2012

Typically, when you start an interfacing project, there’s a getting-your-feet-wet stage. “Where’s the MRN in that feed? Does it have leading zeros? Who’s got the lab codes? What do the z-segments contain?” There are a whole lot of questions at this stage. One question cascades into another. You check the interface documentation. Then send an email. And pretty soon, you’re in the deep end, with scope creep, a runaway timeline, and very little real data (read: specifications and test messages) [...]

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Categories : Healthcare integration

HIStalk Innovator Showcase Covers Caristix

By | Published: November 15th, 2011

Healthcare IT blog HIStalk featured Caristix in a series on innovative companies developing technology products for hospitals, providers, and others in healthcare.

Here’s what one of our users at a major HIT vendor had to say about Caristix technology when he was interviewed for the article:

What problems have you solved using Caristix products and what impact has that had on your organization?

We are seeking ways to continuously improve our customer enablement process for our product. An activity in that process is [...]

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Categories : Healthcare integration

Healthcare Integration Roundup – May 6, 2011

By | Published: May 6th, 2011

This week’s roundup covers enterprise data modeling, a possible slowdown in the Meaningful Use timeline, a new HIE software release, and interoperability.

Enterprise Data Modeling: 7 Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make via This article isn’t healthcare-specific, but there are several good pointers for architects working in IDNs and HIEs — any healthcare integration initiative, as a matter of fact. Key takeaway: a data model has to reflect business needs and be transparent. Easier said than done.

Federal Health IT Panel [...]

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Categories : Healthcare integration

Healthcare Integration Roundup – April 29, 2011

By | Published: April 29th, 2011

This week, we have a couple of HIE news items out of the US Midwest, a new Canadian iPad/ICU implementation, and a warning not to use Dropbox for healthcare data.

Information Exchange: Know Your Use Cases via All about the Cincinnati-area HIE, HealthBridge. EHR feeds to 29 vendors, 60+ EHR versions, all on an Axolotl system and Mirth MUx.

Chicago Hospitals Embark On Long HIE Journey via nversel They’re putting together a subscription-based model for providers; vendors share the risk. Read [...]

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Categories : Healthcare integration

Healthcare Integration Roundup – April 22, 2011

By | Published: April 22nd, 2011

We’re starting a new feature on the Caristix blog: a quick weekly roundup of noteworthy news, articles, and comments on healthcare integration and healthcare IT.

This week we have interoperability in Stage 2 and 3, an interview on medical device integration, and thoughts on refills from EMRs.


The cloud outage and its impact on EMRs via @EntegrationBlog Yesterday, a data center belonging to cloud computing leader Amazon went down, taking dozens of web-based applications with it. Read about the 3 questions a [...]

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Categories : Healthcare integration