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HealthSMART - Application to Application Architecture

HealthSMART is a seven-year $360M Department of Health technology program operating across the Victorian public health care sector. Primarily the objective of the program is to provide health applications to hospitals and community health services across Victoria from a centralised service whilst integrating with existing health applications at those distributed entities.

Opti Consulting was engaged to produce an application to application architecture to enable comprehensive application to application integration between agency applications (hospitals) and centralized HealthSMART applications.

At the time of Opti Consulting's commencement on the engagement, HealthSMART had adopted HL7 (Health Level 7 - the national standard for the electronic messaging of health information across Australia) as the data messaging standard for the programme. In addition, HealthSMART had selected SUN's CAPS (Composite Application Platform Suite), incorporating JMS, to provide integration services between it and hospitals. However, both the hospitals and HealthSMART had application to application integration needs beyond what the HL7 standard and the SUN CAPS solution could provide. Consequently, it was Opti Consulting's role and responsibility to develop an architectural solution capable of meeting the application to application needs of the hospitals and HealthSMART.

Technical Environment

  • Service Oriented Architecture
  • Messaging
  • File Transfer FTP via File Transfer Gateway
  • Shared Database (ODBC)
  • Remote Procedure Call / Remote Procedure Invocation, Web Services, SOAP
  • Integration Engines - SUN CAPS, J2EE, IBM MQ Series
  • Data Communication Standard - HL7
  • Operating Systems - AIX, HP-UX, Windows 2003
  • Hypervisor - VMware
  • Database - Oracle 9i and 10g, Microsoft SQL*Server
  • Hardware - HP BL25p, BL35p, BL685c, RX 2620, RX4640, RX7620, RX8620, IBM P505, P520, P550, P550Q, P590, P595
  • Wide Area Network - HealthNET 1Gbps (Victoria wide) supplied by Telstra
  • Transactions per day - 250,000

Opti Consulting’s responsibilities on this engagement involved;

  • Identification of business drivers for application to application integration
  • Surveying and analysis of integration requirements of multiple hospitals
  • Surveying and analysis of integration capabilities of multiple hospitals
  • Identification of the architectural options based on requirements
  • The development and specification of conceptual, logical and physical architecture options
  • Assessment of the architectural options by quality attributes
  • The analysis of the business and operational implications of the identified architectural options on both HealthSMART and hospitals
  • A recommendation of the preferred architecture based commercial, operational and technical drivers.
  • A recommendation of a transitional architecture to enable HealthSMART and hospitals to meet short term programme commitments.

Workshops and follow up meetings were conducted by Opti Consulting personnel with a number of large hospital agencies within Victoria to determine their particular requirements for application to application integration with HealthSMART. These requirements were documented in detail and then used as the basis for the application to application architecture development by Opti Consulting.

Opti Consulting was also required to present, collaborate and agree the architecture produced with HealthSMART’s Technical Advisory Committee. This committee comprised of approximately ten CIO’s and senior ICT personnel from health agencies across Victoria and senior management from HealthSMART. In addition to the development of the architecture Opti Consulting then played a significant role in the implementation of the solution.

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