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Creating a new NHS England: NHS England and NHS Digital merged on 1 February 2023. More about the merger.

Pathology Messaging - HL7 V3

Request laboratory tests and send the results back to the requester, usually the patient's GP or consultant.

This integration is in production, but under review for deprecation and has been in a V1.2 draft state since 2008. We will contact you before agreeing to a retirement date.


Overview

Use this integration to request laboratory tests and send the results back to the requester, usually the patient's GP or consultant. Results can also be copied to other healthcare providers for information.

One request can lead to several results reports and each report is complete in its own right. If incomplete reports are issued, a final report carries all the reported information, replacing the originals entirely.

This integration is not widely adopted - it is only used as part of the NHS Newborn Blood Spot (NBS) Screening Programme which involves a limited number of pathology laboratories. Pathology Messaging - EDIFACT API supports most of the pathology interactions.

This integration will be superseded by the Pathology Messaging - FHIR API.


Who can use this

This integration can only be used where there is a legal basis to do so. Make sure you have a valid use case before you go too far with your development.

You must do this before you can go live (see ‘Onboarding’ below).



Status and roadmap

This integration is in production, but under review for deprecation and has been in a V1.2 draft state since 2008. 

We are looking at a possible migration to Digital Child health - FHIR which is a NEMS based integration or to Pathology Messaging - FHIR API which is currently in development.

We will update the page once we have finalised the migration and will contact you before agreeing to a retirement date.

To see our roadmap, or to suggest, comment or vote on features for this API, see our interactive product backlog.

If you have any other queries, contact us.


Service level

This integration is a platinum service, meaning it is operational and supported 24 x 7 x 365.

For more details, see service levels.


Technology

This integration meets HL7 V3 standard and uses asynchronous interactions, using HL7 V3 ebXML messaging.

For more details, see HL7 V3.

Message Handling System (MHS) adaptor

To remove the complexity of building your own Message Handling System, we offer a pre-assured, client side MHS adaptor that you can integrate into your own infrastructure.

It makes it easier to connect to the NHS Spine and perform business operations by exposing a RESTful API that conforms to the HL7 V3 standard


Network Access

You need a Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) connection to use this integration.

For more details, see Network access for APIs.


Security and authorisation

Authentication

This integration is user-restricted, meaning an end user must be present and authenticated to use it.

The end user must be:

  • a healthcare worker

  • strongly authenticated using an NHS smartcard

For more details see user-restricted APIs.

Authorisation

For some activities, the end user must be authorised to perform that activity.

The integration itself does not perform any authorisation checks. Rather, the calling system is expected to perform them. The authorisation rules are specified in our national Role Based Access Control (RBAC) database.

For more details see our national Role Based Access Control (RBAC) database on the registration authorities and smartcards page.


Environments and testing

To perform end-to-end testing with the MHS Adaptor, you need access to NHS Digital’s Path to Live environments.


Onboarding

You must get your software onboarded before it can go live.

Contact us before onboarding with this integration. It uses the Common Assurance Process (CAP) which is tailored for each NHS service.


Interactions

For a full list of interactions for this integration, see the Laboratory section in the Spine Message Implementation Manual (MIM)

Last edited: 8 November 2022 4:42 pm