FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) is a healthcare standard devised by the organization named HL7 international. FHIR helps different healthcare systems to effectively communicate with each other. It is targeted around ease of implementation based on RESTful HTTP using XML or JSON. The FHIR has three main components of which “Resources” are dedicated to exchanging data (taking of servers with each other) between the systems. The resources are nothing but data in machine-readable formats like XML and JSON that contains information about the patients so they could be processed and presented to medical professionals in a human-readable format. The FHIR resource documents contain meta tags that define the types of data and the human-readable description that is not intended to be read rather it is meant to be displayed. The JSON or XML files containing the FHIR standard specifications are extendable.
Also Read: – What is FHIR used for and HL7 FHIR services?
FHIR on the Mirth Connect / NextGen Connect server
On the other hand, the open-source Mirth connect server has HTTP connectors and supports XML/JSON that makes it completely possible to support any valid FHIR implementation. You only need to download and install FHIR listener connector and you are set to go to implement FHIR on the Mirth Connect server.
Once the system is set up the Mirth Connect server sends an “Http Get” request with a patient ID to request any kind of data such as the name of the patient, gender or age, etc. In response to the request, the server responds with JSON (or XML) via HTTP with the requested data.
Connecting to a Test Server
First, go to the following link https://fhirtest.uhn.ca/conformance?serverId=home_21&pretty=false
And you will see the following screen. As a first setup, you will need to connect to a test server.
You can use the URL given in the “Request” section to connect to the server.
FHIR Listener extension Installation
Once you download FHIR Listener extension, go to Mirth Connect/NextGen Connect and click on the “Extensions” as shown in the following.
In the Window that will pop up, you want to look for the FHIR Listener extension. You will not find one, so you need to add it from your computer’s download folder where you have downloaded it. Download it here. If you don’t have access to the files click “browse” at the right bottom of the “Extensions” window. Find the FHIR zip file and open it and hit “Install.”
Before you see the effects, you need to need to restart your Mirth server. Once you have restarted Mirth you need to log back into mirth connect to go to “Extensions” again the way you did before and check if the FHIR Listener extension is installed. You will see something like the following.
Once this is done you need to import the channel to the Mirth Connect server.
On the Mirth Connect you need to click on the “Channel” tab of the Mirth server and click on the “Import Channel tab” and then hit the “Save Changes” button in the “Extension Tasks” area.
Once the channel is imported, go back to “Channel.” You will see the following screen.
Click on the button that has a spanner icon at the bottom. Check the “Enable Channel Filter” checkbox as shown in the diagram below.
Uncheck the “FHIR” and “vso” checkboxes and let the “HSK” checkbox to remain as shown in the following figure. In other words, we are filtering the channel with “HSK.”
You will now find the only channel that you have imported as shown in the following.
Now we can deploy the channel. The way to do that is to right-click the filter channel as shown in the following figure.
And click on “Deploy channel.”
When you click “Deploy Channel”, you will see the following screen.
Now double click the “Channels” on the “Mirth Connect” pane as indicated by the arrow and it will take you to the following screen.
You will need to click on send a custom message to test out the connectivity between your test FHIR server and the Mirth connect so hit on the “send the message” button in the message tasks panel. The “Message” window will open and you will be able to type whatever you want to be sent as a message. We will type “mirth test.” As shown below and click on the “process message” button in the bottom.
Once that is done we will click on the search tab once the “Message” disappears as shown in the following.
Click on the source connector as shown in the window below and you will see the message you have sent from the source.
Now you will click on the HAPI FHIR connector to select it as shown below and you will find more detail about the message that was sent.
Now you need to click on the “Scope” tab in the bottom panel, and you will see the following screen on your Mirth display.
In the bottom, pane clicks on the “Sent” radio button as shown here.
Here you will be able to see all the detail with GET method. The detail is hidden inside the URL given in the pane. If you copy-paste this link in the browser you will see all the details from the patient.
Similarly, if you click on the “Response” radio button you will find the following screen. This is the response the HAPI FHIR has server has sent back in JASON format.
This is the way you set up the FHIR on the Mirth Connect/NextGen Connect server. If you have any difficulty please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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