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Explore and Make use of Nationally Defined Messaging APIs


Spine integration illustrated

Illustration of the use of MESH and ITK3 to send a document

All messages sent in order to update GP systems through GP Connect Messaging capabilities have the following NHS Spine integration requirements:

  • use of MESH to send messages

  • use of ITK3 to provide a standard FHIR Message format

Additionally, as most of these messages will be intended to update the care record at the patient’s registered practice, most messaging use cases will make use of an additional MESH capability:

  • MESH Endpoint Lookup Service

An example is given below of the Send Consultation Report messaging use case which makes use of all three of these NHS SPINE integration options.

Example: Integrate with Spine to send a consultation report as a document

The following diagram illustrates the systems involved, and their responsibilities, in sending the consultation report document:

Integration illustrated - send

The steps shown in the diagram are detailed below:

Step Description
1 The sender system constructs a FHIR Message according to the ITK3 standard which contains the details of the consultation which has taken place. The message is placed in the /OUT directory.
2 The MESH Client installed at the sender practice picks up the message from the /OUT directory and sends the message securely to the central Spine MESH server.
3 The Spine MESH server extracts patient’s Surname, Date of Birth and NHS Number from the To_DTS field in the MESH message .CTL file, and then performs a PDS lookup using these details in order to discover the ODS code of the patient’s registered practice.
4 The Spine MESH server then uses the ODS code of the patient’s registered practice to lookup the MESH mailbox of the registered practice, where the message is then placed to await collection.
5 The MESH Client at the registered practice collects the message from registered practice mailbox and writes the collected message to the /IN directory.
6 The Registered practice GP system picks up the message from the /IN directory and updates the GP system. This is likely to be done through raising a workflow task containing the message contents.
Tags: integration

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