Mittwoch, 13. Mai 2015

Setting Microbiology Workflow on FHIR (...and once again: the campus)

Students of Medical Informatics at the University of Heilbronn/Heidelberg had to tackle a tricky task in this semester's interoperability training course:

A microbiology project at the University Hospital of Heidelberg required a solution to the problem of how of lab orders can be prioritized in order to move critical care patient samples to the top of the order queue in a fully automized workflow.

As information source served the hospital's HL7 Version 2 based ADT datastream flowing from the HIS to the subsystems.
Patient transfer to and from intensive care units can be detected through the observation A02 events.
The workflow engine on the other hand can be configured to process units of xml data.

The Cloverleaf Communication Server provided by Health-Comm GmbH enabled the students to reroute and translate the data..

The students were asked to 
a) identify the appropriate FHIR xml resources required to convey the patient demographic data as well as the current priority status
b) map the data from the ADT messages to the corresponding FHIR resources
c) configure a transaction style resource bundle that enables the reidentification of the resources

While the mere data mapping proved to be relatively easy since the mapping tables are already provided in the FHIR specification and Cloverleaf  offers intuitive tooling for configuration and testing, reidentification of FHIR resources on the other hand is always a challenge when brokering data between HL7 V2 clients and FHIR servers.

FHIR servers identify resources by URLs and require clients to provide these when updating resources through RESTful operations or referencing from one resource to another.

So the students had to dive deep into the FHIR specification and dig out fairly fresh and still hidden "advanced features" such as building conditional target urls for PUT actions inside a transaction bundle.

The coinciding of the "Student Connectathon" - which traditionally is the point in time where the student present their work and test it against the publicly available test servers - with the official FHIR Connactathon at the HL7 Work Group Meeting in Paris made sure that all the required server side features were implemented just in time.

So, in essence, this semester's student connectathon served not only the purpose of testing the student's work but also DSTU2's ability to support the specific requirements of Version 2 message transformation use cases.

Both passed.