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

Why Do HL7 Interfaces Take So Long to Write?

By | Published: February 16th, 2011

HL7 Interfacing Advice from the Indiana Health Information Exchange

The largest health information exchange (HIE) in the US is located in Indiana. It connects 80 hospitals, and serves 10 million patients as well as 19,000 physicians. IHIE members participated in a recent meeting of the Central Indiana Beacon Community and posted their slide decks here. The presentation that resonated for us was Mapping Interfaces by Dr. Mike Barnes, Dan Vreeman, and Amanda Smiley (PDF).

Their killer quote: “Interface programmers are the only [...]

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Categories : HL7 Data

Protecting Patient Data in HL7 Logs

By | Published: January 28th, 2011

Information Week ran an article this week on protecting patient data. The article wasn’t on one of the usual suspects — a HIPAA violation or a breach in a production system. Instead, this was notable because we’re finally seeing one of the hidden dangers in healthcare IT coming to light: unsecured patient data sitting in development and test systems. Our industry needs to start addressing this issue.

Information Week cited a survey where 51% of organizations don’t protect patient data used [...]

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Categories : De-identification

Guest Post on Healthcare IT Guy

By | Published: January 12th, 2011

Jean-Luc Morin, VP R&D at Caristix, has a guest post on Shahid Shah’s blog, Healthcare IT Guy. Shahid’s top-ranked blog covers healthcare IT, EMR, EHR, PHR, medical content, and document management.

Jean-Luc’s article covers 6 questions hospital CIOs and IT directors should be asking vendors about interface documentation.

Here’s an excerpt:

At first glance, documentation doesn’t seem like a CIO-level concern. In a typical implementation cycle, the team gets a few specs from a vendor. Someone signs off on an interface configuration document. [...]

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Categories : HL7 Data

Will HL7 V3 Adoption Take Off in 2011? 5 Points and 1 Caveat

By | Published: January 4th, 2011

A few weeks ago, I was working on an HL7 v3 project with an outside partner and the discussion turned to market adoption. We came to the conclusion that it’s not exactly taking off — at least, not as quickly as you might expect. Apart from meaningful-use initiatives around CDA in the US and the big push by Canada Health Infoway, I don’t really see much traction in North America. I’m going to come right out and say this: from [...]

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Categories : HL7 Data

Happy Holidays from Caristix

By | Published: December 22nd, 2010

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and joyous holiday season and New Year!

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Categories : Announcements

De-identifying Patient Data, Part 2

By | Published: December 16th, 2010


We’re continuing with our series of posts on patient data de-identification. This week, we’re reviewing a set of definitions of common terms. This list will become the glossary for upcoming posts on HL7 de-identification and protecting sensitive healthcare data. We’re looking for feedback on this list. Feel free to add your nuances and/or related terms in the comments…

De-Identification or Anonymization

An umbrella term for removing or masking protected information. In a more specific sense, the de-identification process removes identifiers from a [...]

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Categories : De-identification

De-identifying Patient Data, Part 1

By | Published: November 30th, 2010

In healthcare IT, no matter where you work, you’re faced with protecting patient data. Many countries have regulatory frameworks to address patient privacy and the use of health information. In the US, HIPAA regulates the use of PHI (protected health information). In Canada, the law is called PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act). PIPEDA regulates the use of consumer data in a number of industries, not just healthcare. Plus a few Canadian provinces have their own privacy legislation [...]

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Categories : De-identification

What if HL7 interface specifications were easy to document?

By | Published: November 23rd, 2010

Some organizations call them HL7 conformance profiles, others call them HL7 interface specifications. They’re all talking about a description of the data format used for exchange between systems within a care facility.

The terminology might not be consistent, but the challenge is: documentation. How do you document conformance profiles so that the description is up-to-date and trustable?

3 HL7 Documentation Issues
1. Creation is Time Consuming

Documenting an HL7 specification requires a fair amount of effort. Applications exchanging data through the HL7 standard usually [...]

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Categories : HL7 Interfacing

15 Soundbites from the Canada-US eHealth Summit

By | Published: November 19th, 2010

I was in Philadelphia this week for the 2nd Annual Canada-US eHealth Summit (PDF). Now, this wasn’t a big conference like HIMSS. But it was a great opportunity to break open our silos and share knowledge and stories across the border. Plus, we got to hear from a handful of respected HIT leaders, including John Glaser, CEO of Siemens HIT, and David Levine, head of a major Canadian regional health agency.

Here are 15 highlights from the presentations.

Ripped from the headlines: [...]

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Categories : Announcements
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