Healthcare organizations often have many proprietary heterogeneous information systems that must exchange data reliably. Seamlessly sharing information among systems is complex. The widely adopted HL7 version 2 messaging standard has helped the process of systems integration. However, using the HL7 standard alone does not ensure system interoperability. The HL7 standard offers a wide range of options. Trading partners, without prior agreement, are not likely to implement options that are compatible. As a result, interoperability is hindered and organizations are left to employ their own ad hoc solutions. Message profiles provide a solution to this problem. Message profiles define a standard template that provides a precise definition of the data exchanged between applications in a common format. Defining a set of message profiles for controlling message exchanges establishes a well-defined communications interface among organizations and facilitates interoperability. However in order to be effective, message profiles must be designed and applied correctly. Additionally, with efficient design, a family of message profiles can be developed which leverage existing message profile components. Such a strategy is employed in the development the United States EHR certification family of standards for laboratory ordering and results reporting. This paper presents a methodology and best practices for designing a set of related message profiles. Although the methodology is applied to the healthcare messaging standards it has broad applicability for the class of communication standards.
Proceedings Title: SERP'13 - The 2013 International Conference on Software Engineering Research and Practice
Conference Dates: July 22-25, 2013
Conference Location: Las Vegas, NV
Pub Type: Conferences
Conformance, Communication Standards, Interoperability, Message Profiles, Messaging Systems