I’m regularly asked by our larger customers how we transmit documents to their OnBase environment.  There’s a lot of confusion and concern about any integration, but the reality is that setting up document delivery via HL7 is extremely straightforward.

The first step is to setup a VPN.  HL7 messages are textual and do not typically support encryption so protection on the wire is a must.

The VPN setup process usually requires filling out some forms with the customer security team and getting the right people in the room.  After a quick conversation to establish that we are using high quality networking equipment and have defined policies and procedures we are usually given the green light to work with Health Information Management.

The message that we send down the VPN is called a MDM.  It’s a message that has many uses but we only need one of them which is called MDM-T02 (Original document notification and content). This message acts like a Result Message and notifies a system of creation of a document.  It also includes the document contents in an easy to access form.

So what does this message look like?  Here’s a sample:

MSH|^~\&|EhealthAccess|EhealthGlobal|ONBASE|INSTITUTIONNAME|20140902111130||
MDM^T02|20140902111119|P|2.3
PID|1||MRN^CUSTOMERNAME||PATIENTLAST^PATIENTFIRST^
TXA|1||TX|DATE|PAN^^||||||EH|||||DEPARTMENT|||||||
OBX|1|ED|||Base64 PDF

The message starts with a header (MSH) defining the systems that will talk to each other.  In this example ONBASE at INSTITUTION name is talking to the eHealthAccess system at EhealthGlobal.

Next, comes the MDM itself of type T02, then the PID segment with the MRN, customer name, and patient name broken into components.

The TXA (Document notification segment) required by onbase is very simple.   We find that most onbase installations just want the department name and Date.

Finally, the OBX segment notifies that we’re sending a base64 encoded PDF.

That’s really about all there is to it.    Not so bad huh?

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