Library

Browse and search developer information

Broadcast (Point to Point Sharing)

Pattern Description

 

 

In many cases, a broadcast may only go to a single recipient (e.g. a Discharge Summary going from a hospital to a GP) – this is a point-to-point share but is technically the same pattern as sharing with multiple recipients.

New information is published by the information source. The information source has prior knowledge of the consumers who would like to receive a copy of the information. This may be simple configuration, but a more mature implementation of this pattern may make use of a subscription service to allow recipients to subscribe for specific types of broadcasts (see the “Managing Topics and Subscriptions” capability later in this document).

The Information Source (shown in the diagram above) sends a copy of the information to each of the consumers.

In some deployments the fan-out to the multiple consumers is managed by middleware.

Information Source and consumers now hold copies of the same information.

Benefits

  • Copies of information and sent and is therefore available in recipient systems whenever required.
  • Can be useful where specific information is only of interest to one or two recipients (e.g. discharge summaries to a GP).

 Concerns

  • Multiple copies of the information exist in each of the consuming systems, as well as the information source.
  • Data synchronisation issues should be considered (e.g. when information changes or is deleted).
  • Ownership and data controller responsibilities for the information also need to be considered (see discussion of the “authoritative source of an item of information” earlier in this document).
  • Information Source and consumer applications manage security and IG independently.
  • Does not provide a means to retrospectively “discover” information in a system that has not received the broadcasts previously.
  • Recipients who may need the information have to be identified in advance, so the approach will not scale beyond a local health community.