To expand into the human healthcare space, it was recognized that although their software was fully functional for veterinary use, it needed to meet the necessary interoperability standards to communicate with EHRs. Within the veterinary industry there are no regulations on the communication protocols used for software applications that interact with each other. Hence, a secure data exchange interface to receive orders from and return results to major hospital EHR platforms is vital. With their technology sitting between labs and Hospital Information Systems (HIS), it needed an update to allow EHRs to seamlessly communicate with lab instruments through a proprietary interface.
To accommodate the need to meet HL7 standards, Chetu, a custom software development company, provided custom development within a communications platform to create secure messaging channels for bi-directional communication between laboratory information systems and hospital EHRs. The platform is used to transform messages from HL7 to XML, and vice versa. Since the proprietary system needs to interface with various lab instruments using a XML protocol, HL7 order message (ORM) and observation result (ORU) functions and segments needed to be converted for interoperability between the two systems.
The following channels were developed to simulate real-life scenarios based on project requirements to pull HL7 ORMs from host EMRs such as EPIC and Athena, transform them to XML, and push them into lab instruments from manufacturers such as Siemens, Beckman and Horiba in order to obtain results and send back HL7 ORUs to the hosts:
Host Specific Implementation of channels:
To emulate the SQL job functionality, the following channels were created to generate the XML schema, which is used to communicate with instrument systems:
Chetu has provided skilled and useful programming services to our company with very little learning curve. The delivered code is clean and on-time. The daily reports and weekly team meeting keep the projects on track. The developers are accessible and responsive."
President of LabThruPut
The results showed that the simulation was a success. With the implementation of the communications platform and HL7, the client was able to enhance their products to meet current healthcare industry standards. This allowed them to gain opportunities it sought in order to assure future company growth without abandoning the veterinary space.