HL7 Integration


PKB tries to make the integration process as easy as possible to enable NHS organisations to push data into PKB and back out again into their source systems. Organisations receive help and support from PKB’s Integration Team to enable them to do this through use of PKB’s API's. Sending data to PKB by means of HL7 messages based on the V2 structure, which most NHS organisations are already familiar with, makes the process of establishing an inbound data feed easier.

Timescales for the standard integration process can vary depending on the resource, skill and expertise of the Trusts IT team, but estimates for each Integration Stage have been provided below. The total estimated timescale for a standard project is between 3-4 months per Trust, with the ability for multiple organisations to go through this process in parallel.

Integration workflow stages

Below details the stages that the organisation(s) will need to go through to enable data sharing for what we consider the 4 primary data feeds. The timescales assume that the required integration operational / delivery team is in place and integration readiness checks have been successfully completed.

To support and facilitate the management of the project, tasks and progress for the Integration Deployment Workstream will be captured in PKB’s shared collaborative Project Management Tool; Teamwork.

Stage 1 - Configuration

  • Senior professional(s) across each Trust need to confirm the data they will share with all patients in PKB.

  • Technical teams need to confirm that they are able to send the data required to PKB using the PKB HL7 APIs.

  • Below is the list of the minimum data feeds that each organisation will be required to send to PKB using our open HL7 API:

  • Organisations can also decide to develop feeds to share additional data with patients in PKB. This would follow as subsequent phases of integration development once work on the 4 standard feeds has been completed, the options available are:

  • Medications

  • Allergies

  • Diagnosis

  • Encounters (e.g. Admissions, Discharges and Transfers)

  • Care plans

  • Imaging / Radiology Reports

  • A new feed typically takes between 1 and 2 months to complete depending on the availability of resource and the clinical decision maker(s).

  • Technical scopes for our supported HL7 message types can be found here.

  • The stage is considered to be complete for each data feed:
    When confirmation of the data that will be included within the feed and where it will be sourced from has been provided by the customer and verified by the PKB integration team.

Stage 2 - Development

  • For data to be pushed into PKB, the Trust normally requires a Trust Integration Engine (TIE) with commonly used TIE’s being Mirth, Intersystems Ensemble, Cloverleaf or Lyniate (previously Orion) Rhapsody. Data from the Trust’s EPR, pathology, PAS etc needs to be shared with the TIE so that these feeds can be pushed into PKB.

  • For this stage, the Trusts Integrations/IT team would be required to map the data from the TIE to the messaging structure of PKB’s HL7 APIs.

  • This usually takes up to 1 month to complete. PKB’s integration team will be made available to support the Trust’s IT team on how to use these APIs as and when required.

  • The stage is considered to be complete for each data feed:
    When the work to provide the required data within the HL7 API message(s) and to send it onto PKB has been completed by the customer integration team and verified by the PKB integration team.

Stage 3 - Testing

  • This stage focuses on testing the data flow into PKB using our test environment (Sandbox) and the organisation's test environment.

  • This usually takes 1 month to complete for demographics, appointments and document feeds and 2 months to complete for test results

  • Whilst each organisation is ultimately responsible for their own testing process, the PKB integration team will be available to provide support and guidance on what to test and how to test it in a robust way.

  • The stage is considered to be complete for each data feed:
    When the data being sent to PKB via the API message(s) has been tested and signed off in accordance with the customer’s testing process and verified by the PKB integration team.

Stage 4 - Go live

  • Once the first 3 stages have been completed and signed off by both parties, the required technical configuration completed and the relevant Information Governance documentation is in place, data can start flowing into PKB.

  • The demographic feed (including the patient's verified NHS number) is used to create the patient's PKB record and the other feeds of data (appointments, documents and test results etc.) populate their PKB record.