Create a Healthcare Data Test Environment

By | Published: June 19th, 2014

Tip 15 in the Interoperability Tip Series

Once you’ve developed a test plan and test scenarios, you need to configure your interface in a test environment.

Healthcare Data test vs. production

What do we mean by test environment? Essentially, another instance of your interface engine, along with simulations of the clinical systems you’ll be interfacing.

It’s important that you do your testing in a test environment, not in a production environment. It’s easy to think it can’t hurt to test in a live [...]

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Data Workflows and Interface Testing

By | Published: June 13th, 2014

Tip 14 in the Interoperability Tip Series

In last week’s tip, we talked about capturing workflows.

Here’s why. Before you can conduct any  interface testing, you must understand what to expect of your workflows. This should include common workflows – such as a patient being transferred – involving the use of the products that will be interfaced.

For example, in many hospitals, emergency department and in-patient ADTs are two separate systems. A new patient that comes through the emergency department would be registered [...]

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Interface Test Types

By | Published: June 5th, 2014

Tip 13 in the Interoperability Tip Series

Last week in Tip 12, we covered when, why, and what to test when you’re working with interfaces. This week, we’re looking at the different interface test types a team needs to perform.

Make sure that your tests cover your interoperability requirements. These will vary depending on the systems you’re working with. Be sure to also cover the following:

1. Workflow

Confirm the interface engine handles your standard workflows as expected.  Just as a reminder, workflows are [...]

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Healthcare Interface Testing: When, Why, and What to Test

By | Published: May 30th, 2014

Tip 12 in the Interoperability Tip Series

In tips from the past few weeks, we covered two requirements-related artifacts analysts must create: 1) profiles or specs and 2) gap analyses, which include mapping tables.

In this tip, we look at testing an interface. And see how it doesn’t have to be an exercise in frustration.

When to Test: 3 Phases

You need to perform healthcare interface testing at 3 different phases in the HL7 interface lifecycle: during configuration and development; during the formal validation [...]

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

By | 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 [...]

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How to Develop an Interface Gap Analysis Document

By | Published: May 15th, 2014

Tip 10 in the Interoperability Tip Series

In the previous tip, we covered specifications. Another key requirements or scoping document you’ll need is a gap analysis. In this tip, we discuss how to develop an interface gap analysis document.

Many analysts develop their own gap analysis templates in Microsoft Word or Excel. To fill in templates, they look at messages, run queries when they can, and manually document their findings. This can be a fairly onerous process if they’re basing the analysis [...]

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How to Develop an HL7 Interface Specification

By | Published: May 9th, 2014

Tip 9 in the Interoperability Tip Series

In Tip 8, we explained what an HL7 interface specification should include. In this tip, learn how to develop an HL7 interface specification, which you’ll need for each interface you develop.

(A quick note about terms. There is no standard term for a spec. Some people call them a profile, conformance profile, schema. We use the term profile or HL7 profile in our software. We use the terms specification, conformance profile, and profile interchangeably in [...]

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What Should An HL7 Interface Specification Include?

By | Published: April 30th, 2014

Tip 8 in the Interoperability Tip Series

Critical Elements in an HL7 Interface Specification

These are critical elements a developer needs to create a interface that works (almost) out of the box with minimal testing. The more accurate the HL7 interface specification, the faster it’ll be implemented – and the less costly the work will be.

1. Interface nameHow do you refer to your interface in your integration environment? Some organizations manage thousands of interfaces. If you’ve got 10 or 20 interfaces, no [...]

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Are You Using These Interfacing Project Assets?

By | Published: April 24th, 2014

Tip 7 in the Interoperability Tip Series

Communicating These Needs to Leadership

These are the most important assets you’ll need when you’re working on creating new interfaces or converting existing ones from one system to another. You’ll need to create them manually, or automate this work via interface lifecycle software.

Why These Assets?

Besides making sure that you have complete requirements so that you can accurately scope a project, you need to make sure you have all the parts and piece lined up and [...]

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Interoperability, Negotiation, and Culture

By | Published: April 17th, 2014

Tip 6 in the Interoperability Tip Series

This tip is for hospital or provider analysts and team leads.

You’ve got a firm grasp of the technical ins and outs of system and application interfacing. Because you’ve got the background, you know that contractual and cultural issues can affect your team’s ability to deliver on time and on budget. 

Make sure these issues are on the table with your leadership, ideally during negotiation before a deal is signed. Your leadership will thank you for [...]

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