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HL7 Differencing Engine

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PilotFish’s HL7 Interface Engine Easily Mediates Differences between HL7 2.x Messages


The healthcare ecosystem is rampant with divergent implementations of HL7 2.x messaging protocols. Healthcare solution providers across the industry are challenged with mediating the differences between HL7 implementations. PilotFish’s HL7 interface solution automates that work, speeds up productivity and puts you way ahead in terms of time and money.

The HL7 2.x standard was designed with the flexibility to accommodate the diverse business processes that exist in the healthcare industry which sped its acceptance. It supports configurable and customizable HL7 data tables and code sets as well as offers the advantage of backward compatibility. As a consequence of that liberalism, the HL7 V2.x standard is interpreted in highly varying ways by implementers and software developers. Thus, data is handled differently – depending on the application or system.

In the best cases, you end up having to interface similar but rarely exactly matching implementations that require analysis in order to identify the differences. You can also encounter HL7 messages beset with custom data. You may also need to mediate differences between HL7 implementations (2.x and 3.x), modified versions of HL7 or different releases of HL7.

With other solutions, the mediating process can be messy, a time suck and needlessly repetitive. With PilotFish’s HL7 Interface Engine, you avoid all that retrograde, unproductive work – which is a HUGE benefit!

The PilotFish HL7 Differencing Engine tool, included in PilotFish’s eiConsole, automatically generates a graphical mapping between a “source” and “target” HL7 implementation.

Once a source (left column) and target (right column) have been loaded within the graphical Data Mapper of the eiConsole, clicking the Differencing Engine button (highlighted above) activates the Differencing Engine processes.

A dialogue window (shown in the center of screen above) appears, indicating “Adding the Target Sample Data as a Template”.

The canonical XML specification published by the World Wide Web Consortium is used to let files be converted to a standard format prior to being compared.

Once the differences have been identified, the messages from one application require modification before they can be processed by the other application. Some translations may be relatively simple, such as moving a particular field from one place in the message to another. Some fields may be needed to be moved or adjusted based on business rules.

Using only a sample of the input and the output, the HL7 Differencing Engine will generate a functional transformation that preserves common segments, components and fields and then highlights the remaining differences.

A visual depiction of the differences between a source and a target is produced identifying the difference data. Shown above in green (in the center panel) are the remaining fields to be mapped. With the boilerplate mapping available and electronic gap analysis complete, users can now quickly and easily mediate the remaining differences.

HL7 Differencing Engine Demo Video (2 minutes)

Go to HL7 Interface Engine Features to learn more about our HL7 Tools and the eiConsole for Healthcare IDE (Video of Graphical Automated Interface). Discover how PilotFish’s HL7 Interface Engine and its “Graphical Automated Interface Assembly Line” mediates protocols, orchestrates message workflow, transforms message formats and manages message delivery – all faster, more efficiently and more affordably than competitors. You’re invited to test us in a Proof of Concept.

The eiConsole for Healthcare Interface Engine IDE (Mapping Video) and the Differencing Engine are part of the PilotFish Interface Development Life Cycle – a complete system for building, maintaining, testing and deploying interfaces.

For more information please call us at 813 864 8662 or click the link below to email us.

HL7 is the registered trademark of Health Level Seven International.

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