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Health IT Testing Infrastructure

NIST is responsible for leading the development of the core health IT testing infrastructure that provides a scalable, multi-partner, automated, remote capability for current and future testing needs.

The objective of the Health IT Testing Infrastructure Project is to harmonize the efforts of healthcare standards test development and delivery to meet the demands for conformance and interoperability within the healthcare domain. This is accomplished by working in collaboration with health IT stakeholders such as vendors, implementers, standards organizations and certification bodies to establish a testing infrastructure that will:

  • Provide a variety of testing services: The testing infrastructure will define a set of services including healthcare application test agents and reference implementations, tools to validate standards, tools to generate test materials, and registries and repositories to support testing.
  • Support a broad range of test environments: The testing infrastructure will support multiple testing environments including instance testing, isolated system testing, and peer-to-peer system testing - in addition to onsite and remote testing.
  • Support numerous health data standards: The testing infrastructure will support conformance and interoperability testing for numerous healthcare messaging and document data exchange standards.
  • Provide a component-based user interface: The testing infrastructure will include multiple components that will enable different stakeholders to use the infrastructure in different ways.
  • Enable user customization: The testing infrastructure will allow different stakeholders to build their own instances of the testing services to support their individual needs.
  • Support changing user requirements: The testing infrastructure will provide a framework that is modular, flexible, and expandable to meet changing stakeholder demands.
  • Leverage existing testing initiatives: The testing infrastructure will collaborate and harmonize with other tooling efforts and integrate existing toolsets when appropriate.
  • Provide a feedback loop to enhance the health standards: The testing infrastructure will provide a mechanism to enable valuable feedback about health data standards and specifications to be collected.
  • Roll out tools and resources incrementally: The testing infrastructure tools and resources will be incrementally developed and released to align with the national health IT agenda and in support of meaningful use criteria.

The following items are out of scope and are not considered part of the Health IT Standards Testing Infrastructure Project:

  • Developing standards: NIST will not create standards, but will provide the tools needed to test existing standards and/or specifications.
  • Performing certifications: NIST will not perform product certification, but will provide the tools that can be used by recognized certification bodies.
  • Conducting operational testing: NIST will not conduct any type of operational or functional testing, but will provide the tools that can be leveraged by the stakeholder organizations to integrate into their testing processes.
Created July 14, 2016, Updated October 4, 2022