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Leveraging Queue Manager Technology to solve the Healthcare Business Problem

Micael George

            In the healthcare business today, a problem exists in integrating various information systems. The issue can be partially attributed to the fact that these systems only serve one specific department within a healthcare business.  Having such an issue can lead to inefficient patient care. For example, if patient’s health information is spread out over a number of different departments that do not collaborate, this could lead to negative implications on their overall care.

            To address the aforementioned issue and in an attempt to resolve challenges faced during system integration of healthcare applications, queue manger technology is being integrated in the healthcare industry. Specifics on queue management can be found here, but in short, a queue management application is an interface that sends and receives messages to/from other queue managers, allowing programs to run independently of each other, at different speeds and times, in different locations, and without having a logical connection between them.

            Through the evolution of healthcare messaging standards, Health Level 7(HL7) has emerged as the most commonly used standard in the world. HL7 is a standard programming language that healthcare systems are using to share information with one another. Every time information needs to flow between systems, small text messages about specific events, pertaining to a patient, are generated, sent by an end system, and received by another end system. In cases where the system’s interface can’t interpret HL7 directly, integration engines, such as IBM’s Websphere Message Broker, are used to translate HL7 messages into useful information for the system.

            In essence, before HL7 and queue management technology, there was no standard method for sharing data between healthcare systems. In the days without this technology, systems had to be manually notified or custom interfaces had to be designed to connect every system in a healthcare business. With the emergence of HL7, healthcare systems are more efficient and better care for patients can be provided, through the economical and easy integration of healthcare systems. For more information check out the links I provided below.

Introduction to Message Queuing

HL7 application integration into IBM Websphere Message Broker V6.0

HL7 Tutorials

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