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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Release Notes for Caristix Software v2.8

By | Published: November 5th, 2013

This dot release contains several new features and enhancement requests.

Caristix Users

To access v2.8, simply go to the Help menu, and click Check for Updates. Follow the on-screen instructions to update your software.


Drag & Drop files directly to the Document Library. A usability enhancement that allows you add Caristix files (profiles, gap analyses, test scenarios, etc.) and documents in Excel, Word, PDF, etc to the library for easier sharing and updating.
Filter differences in Gap Analysis (filter on grid). Set up filters [...]

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Categories : Announcements What's New

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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99 Reasons Why Interfacing is Challenging

By | Published: September 17th, 2013

What is Your Biggest Interfacing Challenge?

To gain insight into the issues our users are facing, there is one key question we ask when a reader downloads a Caristix software trial, white paper, or article: what is your biggest interfacing challenge?

Here are 99 of them.

1. Working as a third party to large health systems and independent physician practices.2. Communication.3. Health information management.4. Custom work.5. Ask on Entry (AOE) prompt question validation at the ordering facility.6. Compatibility between several different platforms; convince [...]

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Categories : HL7 Interfacing

Validation Tasks During the Interface Lifecycle

By | Published: September 3rd, 2013

How to Handle Break-Fix Issues

During the validation phase of the interface lifecycle, you’re running tests. Here’s more on testing: test scenarios and test systems as well as message samples and test messages.  One other thing you may be doing is break-fix work. With break-fix work, you’re looking to solve very specific issues. And you need to get the answers quickly, share the information right away, or fix the interface yourself.

There are many ways to go about doing this. Some people go [...]

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Categories : HL7 Interfacing Testing

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

All-in-One HL7® Survival Guide

By | Published: July 25th, 2013

Our readers have been asking, and now it’s here: the complete HL7® Survival Guide, now available as a single PDF download.

Download your copy now.

The HL7® Survival Guide helps you get in control of the entire interface lifecycle. Move beyond the basics with a go-to guide full of real-world practice advice on effective interfacing. The HL7® Survival Guide helps you cut non-value-added tasks and focus on the essential.

Inside the HL7® Survival Guide:

Ch.1. How to Integrate and Exchange Healthcare Date
Ch. 2. Pros [...]

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Categories : HL7 Survival Guide

HL7® Survival Guide: Chapter 13 Resources and Contributors

By | Published: June 18th, 2013


For vendor performance rankings, see the KLAS Research website.

For a current view of the HL7® interface market within healthcare, see the 2018 HL7® Interface Technology Survey Results published by Core Health Technologies.

For more on de-identification, check out these blog posts: De-Identifying Patient Data Part 1, De-Identifying Patient Data Part 2.

Frozen Interface Syndrome: Wes Rishel of Gartner weighs in on this interoperability issue

How to automate your tests.

How to figure out if you suffer from Interface Black Box Syndrome.

Messaging Workbench available via [...]

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Categories : HL7 Survival Guide
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