Knowledge Base  -  Article 0049  
Demographics Interface


UniCharts electronic medical record system exports patient demographic information through HL7 data files. All HL7 versions from 2.2 through 2.6 are supported for demographic messages, so as the make the system compatible with as many external systems as possible.


Processing Instructions for Downstream Applications:

If running, an outbound demographic interface generates an HL7 message every time the General tab of a patient chart is edited by any user of the system. In this case the system makes sure that at least patient's last name, first name and date of birth are entered on the General form. Note that this requirement does not affect the program's workflow for adding new charts in any way because the message is not generated when a new chart is added to the system. A message is only generated when the General form of a chart is edited and resaved. Nonetheless, once a new chart has been added it becomes equivalent to any other previously existing chart and consequently this restriction applies then onwards.

Every exported file contains one ADT A28 message representing a single patient within the EMR system. The downstream application should treat the received ADT A28 message as generic "Patient Demographic" message and process as follows:
  • If patient exists in the database, UPDATE its information with data in the message.
  • If patient does not exist in the database, ADD a new patient with data in the message.

Standard Configuration Settings:

The interface must be first be configured before it could be started. To configure, just hit Configure button to open configuration screen and select options from the dropdown menus as appropriate.



The following table explains the setting options available on the above configuration screen:

SettingDescription
 Interface Startup We recommend selecting Always start with the EMR server startup option. This would eliminate the risk of forgetting to start the interface after EMR startup. Note that an interface must be running in order to write any outgoing ADT messages. There may be situations in which it is desirable to keep it manual, but most of the time auto start is the best option to choose. 
 Message to write Select HL7 ADT A28 option to write demographic message through this interface. Note that the ADT messages include patient insurance information in addition to the demographics. 
 Message version This depends on the requirement of the application that would be reading the messages. 
 Associated Clinic As multiple clinics could exist in the same UniCharts EMR installation, you must select which clinic is to send messages through this interface. Note that if there is only one clinic within the system, as it usually goes, there would be just one option available on the dropdown. 
 Supervising User Once you select the clinic, all of its users would become listed on this dropdown. Here, you must select which user would be performing the administrative role for this interface. Select this user carefully as he or she would be the one who will be receiving alerts if there is any problem with generating or saving the messages and will be responsible for taking any further action if needed. 
 Folder to write You can select any directory you want as long as it is not a Windows protected directory and exists on the same machine on which EMR server is running. The selected folder should also be reserved for this purpose. That is, only the UniCharts EMR system should be accessing it to deposit ADT message files and only the single downstream application should be accessing it to read the message files that may have been deposited. 
 Limit on writing The outgoing message files are supposed to be processed and then either deleted or moved from the folder. Here you select the limit on the number of accumulated files after which the interface will stop generating and sending more files to the target folder. 



Advanced Configuration Settings:

The above configuration settings are enough to start the interface and consequently generate and deposit ADT messages to the defined folder. However, the messages that will be produced will have segments and field values formatted according to the default interface setting. And this may not be according to the requirements or specifications of downstream application. Fortunately, every outbound UniCharts interface provides "Advanced" settings option for customizing the segments and fields so as to make the generated message compatible with external applications. As shown in the screenshot below, most of the settings available on the window are self explanatory and related to file extension, date formats and optionality of segments. For the mapping, it facilitates dropdown mapping of gender, marital status, race, relationship and ethnicity HL7 fields with options present on the corresponding dropdown menus on the General form. It also allows fields mapping of insurance and plan related HL7 fields with the corresponding fields on the General form within the EMR software.




Starting the Interface:

Assuming that configuration settings have been saved, the interface is now set to write the HL7 ADT messages. The only thing needed now is to start the interface. If you have selected Always start with the EMR server startup option on the configuration screen as recommended, the interface will start automatically on the next startup of the EMR program. In case you want to start it immediately, this can also be done just by clicking the Start button associated the interface, as shown below.




Monitoring the Interface

UniCharts EMR provides an easy way to monitor interfaces through a status bar right on the bottom pane of EMR server. The status bar has six square icons on it, three of which represent outgoing while the other three correspond to incoming interfaces. An icon for interface that has not yet been configured has no background color.


Once the configuration settings for an interface are saved, the square icon representing that interface on the status bar turns yellow. A yellow icon means an interface configured but not running.


Once the interface gets started, either manually or automatically at the time of EMR startup, its status icon turns green. A green icon indicates an interface that is running and ready to generate messages.


Finally, if the interface encounters any problem while running, its icon changes to red color. A red icon signifies an interface that is running but for some reason not able to generate or write messages.


It is recommended that EMR administrator periodically monitor the status bar. As status bar is visible on the bottom pane of the EMR server program, it can be checked even without logging into the system. The need to log into the administrator area would only arise if an icon turns red, in which case the administrator must go to the "EDI Interfaces" tab to get more information about the error and resolve it.


Message Composition:

The following HL7 segments are used in outgoing ADT messages.

SegmentDescriptionNotes
  MSH    Message Header    Always sent by the interface  
  EVN    Event Type    Depends on interface setting  
  PID    Patient Demographics    Always sent by the interface  
  PV1    Patient Visit    Depends on interface setting  
  GT1    Guarantor Information    Depends on interface setting  
  IN1    Insurance Information    Depends on interface setting  


Segments Details:

Inclusion:
  • A = Always sent by interface.
  • S = Sent if available. Applies to both - the constants definable within the interface and the values enterable on the chart form.
  • The fields not mentioned are not sent by the interface.
  MSH Segment      (this segment will always be present)
    Field                    Description                 Inclusion Comments
  MSH-00    Segment Type ID  A  Constant: MSH  
  MSH-01    Field Separator  A  Constant: | (vertical bar)  
  MSH-02    Encoding Characters  A  Constant: ^~\& (carat, tilde, reverse slash, ampersand)  
  MSH-03    Sending Application  S  Default: UCEMR - Value configurable on the Interface  
  MSH-04    Sending Facility  S  Default: UCFAC - Value configurable on the Interface  
  MSH-05    Receiving Application  S  Default: EXAPP - Value configurable on the Interface  
  MSH-06    Receiving Facility  S  Default: EXFAC - Value configurable on the Interface  
  MSH-07    Date/Time of Message  A  <yyyymmddhhmmss> - Format configurable on the Interface  
  MSH-09    Message Type  A  Constant: ADT^A28  
  MSH-10    Message Control ID  A  A unique value - always 13 characters long  
  MSH-11    Processing ID  A  Constant: P  
  MSH-12    Version ID  A  Constant: As selected on the Interface  


  EVN Segment      (depending on the interface setting, this segment may or may not be present)
    Field                    Description                 Inclusion Comments
  EVN-00    Segment Type ID  A  Constant: EVN  
  EVN-01    Event Type Code  A  Constant: A28  
  EVN-02    Recorded Date/Time  A  <yyyymmddhhmmss> - The timestamp when chart was edited  
  EVN-05    Operator ID  A  The User ID of user who edited the chart - can be up to 10 characters long  


  PID Segment      (this segment will always be present)
    Field                    Description                 Inclusion Comments
  PID-00    Segment Type ID  A  Constant: PID  
  PID-01    Set ID  A  Constant: 1  
  PID-02    Patient ID  S  Sent blank - Configurable on the Interface so as to include ChartID or MRN  
  PID-03    Patient Identifier List  A  The unique Chart ID of chart within the UniCharts EMR  
  PID-04    Alternate Patient ID  S  Sent blank - Configurable on the Interface so as to include ChartID or MRN  
  PID-05    Patient Name  A  <last>^<first>^<middle>^<suffix>  
  PID-07    Date of Birth  A  <yyyymmdd> - Format configurable on the Interface  
  PID-08    Sex  S  As per dropdown mapping defined on the Interface  
  PID-10    Race  S  As per dropdown mapping defined on the Interface  
  PID-11    Patient Address  S  <street address1>^<street address2>^<city>^<state>^<zip>  
  PID-13    Phone Number - Home  S  <complete number>^PRN^PH^^^<area code>^<phone number>^<extension>  
  PID-14    Phone Number - Business  S  <complete number>^WPN^PH^^^<area code>^<phone number>^<extension>  
  PID-16    Marital Status  S  As per dropdown mapping defined on the Interface  
  PID-19    SSN - Patient  S  Sent with punctuation removed - Configurable on the Interface to send it "as entered" on the chart form  
  PID-22    Ethnic Group  S  As per dropdown mapping defined on Interface (this mapping is only available on MU version)  


  PV1 Segment      (depending on the interface setting, this segment may or may not be present)
    Field                    Description                 Inclusion Comments
  PV1-00    Segment Type ID  A  Constant: PV1  
  PV1-01    Set ID  A  Constant: 1  
  PV1-02    Patient Class  A  Constant: O (O = Outpatient)  


  GT1 Segment      (depending on the interface setting, this segment may or may not be present)
    Field                    Description                 Inclusion Comments
  GT1-00    Segment Type ID  A  Constant: GT1  
  GT1-01    Set ID  A  Constant: 1  
  GT1-03    Guarantor Name  S  <last>^<first>^<middle> - Depends on the option selected on Relation dropdown on the chart form  
  GT1-06    Guarantor Phone - Home  S  <complete number>^PRN^PH^^^<area code>^<phone number>^<extension>  
  GT1-08    Guarantor Date of Birth  S  <yyyymmdd> - Format configurable on the Interface  
  GT1-09    Guarantor Sex  S  As per dropdown mapping defined on the Interface  
  GT1-10    Guarantor Type  S  Constant: H or I (H = Individual, I = Institution) - Depends on the option selected on Relation dropdown on the chart form  
  GT1-11    Guarantor Relationship  S  As per dropdown mapping defined on the Interface  
  GT1-21    Guarantor Organization Name  S  Depends on the option selected on Relation dropdown on the chart form  


  IN1 Segment      (depending on the interface setting, this segment may or may not be present)
    Field                    Description                 Inclusion Comments
  IN1-00    Segment Type ID  A  Constant: IN1  
  IN1-01    Set ID  A  Constant: 1 or 2  
  IN1-02    Insurance Plan ID  S  As per fields mapping defined on the Interface  
  IN1-03    Insurance Company ID  S  As per fields mapping defined on the Interface  
  IN1-04    Insurance Company Name  S  As per fields mapping defined on the Interface  
  IN1-05    Insurance Company Address  S  <street address>^^<city>^<state>^<zip>  
  IN1-07    Insurance Company Phone  S  <complete number>^^^^^<area code>^<phone number>^<extension>  
  IN1-08    Group Number  S  Sent with punctuation removed - Configurable on the Interface to send it "as entered" on the chart form  
  IN1-13    Plan Expiration Date  S  <yyyymmdd> - Format configurable on the Interface  
  IN1-14    Authorization Information  S  As entered on the chart form  
  IN1-15    Plan Type  S  As per fields mapping defined on the Interface  
  IN1-16    Name of Insured  S  <last>^<first>^<middle>  
  IN1-17    Insuredís Relationship  S  As per dropdown mapping defined on the Interface  
  IN1-18    Insuredís Date of Birth  S  <yyyymmdd> - Format configurable on the Interface  
  IN1-36    Policy Number  S  Sent with punctuation removed - Configurable on the Interface to send it "as entered" on the chart form  
  IN1-43    Insuredís Sex  S  As per dropdown mapping defined on the Interface  



DISCLAIMER: THE OUTGOING INTERFACES ARE COMPLIMENTARY AND PROVIDED AT NO CHARGE. IT IS USERSí RESPONSIBILITY TO CONFIGURE AN OUTGOING INTERFACE AND MAKE IT WORK WITH THE INTENDED EXTERNAL APPLICATION. AS BASIC KNOWLEDGE OF HL7 AND TARGET APPLICATIONíS REQUIREMENTS WOULD BE NEEDED, THE TECHNICAL SUPPORT PERSONNEL AT THE TARGET APPLICATION MAY BE IN THE BEST POSITION TO HELP YOU CONFIGURE THE INTERFACE USING INSTRUCTIONS PROVIDED IN THIS DOCUMENT.


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