Thursday, 17 April 2008

HL7V2.x to HL7V3.0 Translation Issues Details-2

In continuation of my previous post this post lists the other issues associated with HL7 v2.x to HL7v3 translation
Conformance Patterns: The other major issue with the transformation of messages is the behavior of application when a particular information exchange takes place. In HL7V3.0 apart from the trigger events and interactions there exists the notion of application role as senders and receivers. The application role is characterized as the entire set of interactions for which the sender and receiver are responsible for transmitting. HL7V3.0 clearly defines the possible interactions and the application behavior associated these interactions in the form of responses for which the sender and receiver needs to adhere to. The differences in messages between V2.x and V3.0 and absence of clear guidance on V2.x regarding application behavior on receipt of message makes the transformation exercise more difficult.

Vocabulary: It is a well known fact that 80% of HL7 V2.x message failures are a result of code mismatches. HL7V2.x needs a translation table for each interface and this puts a huge overhead on HL7V2.x implementation. Version 2.x has no formal binding of standard vocabularies to structures. The bindings are ad hoc and always site specific. However Version 3.0 has a strong semantic foundation in explicitly defined concept domains drawn from the standard terminologies. Each concept in a vocabulary domain (a defined set of coded concepts) is represented using a code from a specific vocabulary. The mapping of an ad hoc vocabulary to a standard vocabulary is problematic as cases like one-to-many and many-to-many mappings will be encountered which can be resolved only manually and cannot be automated. One major issue with vocabulary is the emergence of SNOMED as vocabulary of choice for HL7V3.0 messages. SNOMED Post-coordination which describes representation of a Concept using a combination of two or more codes is not possible for V2.x messages up to V2.4 and this makes the mapping and translation more difficult.

Cardinality Constraints: The mapping of cardinality constraints between HL7V3.0 and HL7V2.x is very complex due to the HL7V2.x messages being shallower and less expressive than HL7V3.0 messages. So HL7V2.x messages are unlikely to be able to represent the full range of allowed cardinalities of attributes and associations that HL7V3.0 message can represent

Wrappers: The information present in the HL7V2.x TCP-IP MLLP wrapper is insufficient to populate the ebXML/SOAP HL7V3.0 wrappers to enable the communication and routing of the messages at the integration layer level where HL7 wrappers are not considered. HL7 V3.0 XML ITS can use MLLP for transport but the HL7 interaction semantics defined in the V3.0 standard transport specification using SOAP/ebXML will be disturbed.

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