Blog

HL7 Specifications: The Basics

By margo.ellis@caristix.com | Published: February 25th, 2015

What is an HL7 specification?

HL7 specification standards

 No matter how many interfaces you are integrating, a critical step is the definition of your HL7 interface specifications.

A formal definition from HL7 International in the v2.5 standard definition states:

“An HL7 message profile (or HL7 specification) is an unambiguous specification of one or more standard HL7 messages that have been analyzed for a particular use case. It prescribes a set of precise constraints upon one or more standard HL7 messages.”

In other words, HL7 [...]

Read More

Interface lifecycle management: do more with less

By margo.ellis@caristix.com | Published: November 26th, 2014

Caristix White Paper: HL7 Integration: From Trial and Error to Predictable Project Outcomes and Margins

If you’re responsible for interfacing within a hospital system, a consulting organization, or an HIE, you know one thing: you need to do more with less. With EHR implementations slowing down, the big HIT implementation budgets are drying up. But so much of the promise and value of those systems is tied to interoperability and data exchange, and you’re still accountable for delivering those capabilities. [...]

Read More

What are HL7 requirements?

By jeanluc.morin@caristix.com | Published: September 17th, 2014

Requirements Thinking

What are HL7 requirements? First, in the world of software engineering, requirements refer to documented needs that an application or system must perform. Requirements are critical for both designing the software and verifying that it works. In the world of HL7 interfacing, requirements thinking is the right way to build an interface. The problem is, traditional HL7 requirements-gathering leaves serious gaps.

Traditional HL7 Requirements Approach

Key technique: manual analysis and pipe counting in message samples
Small data samples
Incomplete and/or outdated documentation

The result is [...]

Read More

What is Gap Analysis in HL7 Interfacing?

By jeanluc.morin@caristix.com | Published: August 4th, 2014

First, what’s the problem?

One of the problems we hear about from HL7 team leads and their management is that interfaces take a long time to configure. The reasons why boil down to missing information. Here’s what they typically hear back from the team members:

“The fields need fine-tuning.”

“We don’t know up-front which message types will need the most work.”

“That field mapping was a bear because we couldn’t get a complete code set from the source and destination systems.”

“These code sets have [...]

Read More

HIEs, Business Models, and Interfacing

By jeanluc.morin@caristix.com | Published: July 29th, 2014

Healthcare Information Exchange Types

There are three basic types of healthcare information exchanges (HIEs): some cover a geographic region (for instance, NCHIE in North Carolina), others a community; and yet others that cover a single hospital system (which in turn may be spread out geographically – for instance, Catholic Health Initiatives).

HIE Business Models: Grants vs. Revenue Generation

While some regional and community HIEs got their start via government grants, many of those grants are coming to their end. Even though they might [...]

Read More

What is an HL7 Profile?

By sovita.chander@caristix.com | Published: June 17th, 2014

We get this question a lot. Over the past few years, we’ve come up with a few answers. Let’s bring this full circle into 3 simple bullet points:

A profile captures an interface specification. So profile = spec.
Some people use the terms profile, spec, and specification interchangeably.
Why build a profile? So that you save time building an interface and getting it into production.

Why build an HL7 profile?

The profile or spec also gives you interface documentation you can share with your team [...]

Read More 1 Comment(s)

HL7 Test Automation: Where’s the Low-Hanging Fruit?

By sovita.chander@caristix.com | Published: June 11th, 2014

Testing and validation are important tasks, as we explained in the Interoperability Tip Series and the HL7 Survival Guide.

Shouldn’t interfacing be easy by now?

Testing is what takes the longest when you’re building an interface. So when you hear about interface engines that allow you to get an interface into production in a couple of hours, that’s absolutely true. Coding is quick with modern interface engines. But bear in mind that coding time seldom includes testing. We’ve worked with organizations that [...]

Read More
Categories : Implementation Testing

Interfacing Management Maturity Model: Part 2

By sovita.chander@caristix.com | Published: May 27th, 2014

9 Diagnostic Questions: Interfacing Management Maturity Model

Last week, we introduced a maturity model for interfacing management. We explained how organizations progress through 3 distinct stages: Manual, Message, and  System.

This week, we’ll cover key diagnostic questions. These 9 questions will help you determine which stage you’re in and whether you should consider moving to the next stage.

1. How many sample messages are you using when scoping?

This gives you an idea of which stage you’re at. A handful of messages and you’re [...]

Read More

Interface Gap Analysis: 3 Reasons Why You Can’t Skip It

By sovita.chander@caristix.com | Published: May 23rd, 2014

Tip 11 in the Interoperability Tip Series

Last week, you learned about doing a gap analysis – mapping differences  between the systems you’re interfacing. Today, we’ll cover why you need this artifact.

1. Interface Requirements

No interface matters unless those coding the engine can accurately scope the interfaces they need to build. You need a way to communicate who does what on an interface. Is the vendor changing a field? Is the interface engine handling the field transformation? It’s critical that you pin [...]

Read More

Introducing an Interfacing Management Maturity Model

By sovita.chander@caristix.com | Published: May 20th, 2014

It’s clear that the needs around interfacing and integration are exploding. To match that need, Caristix is introducing an interfacing management maturity model. If you’re reading this, you know that there is a lot of implementation expertise available from analysts, developers, and consultants. But at the organization level, capabilities vary. Many organizations are seeking benchmarks to see where and how they can grow and adapt to meet their needs. That’s where our model can help.

This interfacing management maturity model is [...]

Read More
All posts