6th Annual Public Health Information Network Conference: Extending PHINMS for Use in a Messaging Hub

Extending PHINMS for Use in a Messaging Hub

Wednesday, August 27, 2008: 10:20 AM
Atlanta BCD
Thomas L. Dunnick, MS, Computer, Science , Division of Public Health Informatics and Surveillance, Lab of Hygiene, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
The Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene (WSLH) serves as the state’s messaging hub for reportable conditions and other public health related data as part of its strategic plan.  This requires that the WSLH securely accept, transform, and route data from a disparate set of laboratories, hospitals, clinics, and other health organizations.  The Public Health Information Network Messaging System (PHINMS) serves well as a base technology for this hub.  PHINMS capabilities, particularly for data transform and routing, can be expanded through the use of a custom message handler (servlet) as specified in the PHINMS Receiver ServiceMap.


Since the WSLH had already made a commitment to supporting Java based WEB technologies, it implemented such a handler to allow it to route data (files) to various vendor and custom or open source systems based both on data originator/owner and content.  PHINMS ServiceMap specific transforms can be dynamically installed in this handler using “pluggable” Java Classes.  The Eclipse Open Healthcare Framework (OHF) Project HL7v2 core component provided a direct open source path to developing pluggable transforms for HL7 message processing.


An example of this technology involved a laboratory sending both reportable conditions and HIV data to our messaging hub.  Reportable conditions needed to be routed to the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS).  The more sensitive HIV data was screened from WEDSS, and instead provided in an analysis friendly format to a selected few surveillance programs.  Additionally separate audit trails (PHINMS queues) and security constraints were required.  Simple configuration of the base message handler was sufficient for routing, auditing, and vendor specific (file) naming and placement. A pluggable transform class was used to convert the HIV data from HL7 to a CSV (comma separated values) format and transfer the results to an open source secured interactive WEB based file sharing application.

See more of: PHIN Messaging (Intermediate)
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