From detailed guides to online courses – resources are available to provide you with the knowledge necessary to build and integrate EHR applications.

Federated HIAL Approach

A federation is an association whose trusted members have agreed to share information across organizational boundaries.  A federated model supports central and distributed services linked by standards, governance, principles, policy and procedures. 

A federated approach enables the regions and eHealth Ontario to work seamlessly and collaboratively, so that health care applications and data can be accessed across the province by authorized users. This approach leverages regional assets, systems, and referral patterns already in place or planned, and fosters local innovation.
The federated HIAL approach incorporates:

  • Standards to govern technical interoperability between HIAL segments
  • Common characteristics, features, and specifications for HIAL segments
  • Agreements governing security and privacy (e.g. sharing of data among HIAL segments)
  • Mechanisms to recognize and trust user identities and service requests from other HIAL segments
  • A shared governance structure, including a common framework for governing the service oriented architecture to ensure a consistent approach to designing and managing provincial EHR services
  • A common service registry that defines each EHR service and where it is accessed

Federating the HIAL segments facilitates the extension of ehealth technologies across the province. Each HIAL segment brokers requests and responses between point of service applications and EHR services. Common services (e.g. privacy, security) are provided to ensure consistent processing and to remove the need for line of business applications to build and support these functions. 

Regional point of service systems can access provincial services in two ways:

  • Directly through the eHealth Ontario HIAL segment 
  • Through the eHealth Ontario HIAL segment via their regional HIAL segment if ‘last mile integration’ is required

The HIAL will use web services based on the simple object access protocol (SOAP) and the WS* suite of supporting protocols to address security, policy, federation and other higher level functionality. Many EHR web services will contain HL7 message payloads based on the appropriate pan-Canadian standard for the EHR component they address. In alignment with WS-I, interfaces offered by eHealth Ontario on the HIAL will have established web services definition language. 

All transactions that use the HIAL must provide strong credentials to prove their authenticity. The eHealth Ontario HIAL segment will rely on mutually authenticated SSL connections to establish entitlement to communicate with the EHR infrastructure, based on certificates from a trusted PKI Certificate Authority. 

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