Integrating Mirth with Tolven

D.J. Jacob | Roberts-Hoffman Blog | March 17, 2014

Roberts-Hoffman Software integrated Mirth Connect with Tolven as part of our inpatient EHR.  We use Mirth to handle our bidirectional HL7 feeds, managing messaging between live hospital information, lab, and radiology systems.

Mirth can communicate with Tolven in a variety of methods.  For inbound communication, we implemented our interface with Tolven using Tolven’s Web Services API.  Tolven provides a sample Web Services Client that we modified slightly to meet our needs.  Mirth allows you to include jar files and instantiate java objects to use within your channels. We create an instance of this Web Services Client, which allows us to call Tolven’s Web Services API and submit documents to the document queue for processing.  Tolven also provides a RESTful API which can be called in much the same way.  The RESTful API is newer and more full-featured than Web Services, and is the Tolven recommended method for new interfaces.  We’ve successfully tested using REST to communicate from Mirth to Tolven.

We chose to use Mirth to translate the incoming HL7 v2 messages to TRIM, Tolven’s internal message format.  This way, Tolven already knows how to process them.  Tolven can also natively handle CCD and CCR documents, although in a more limited fashion.  However, you can create a document processor to process just about any type of document you wish to process in Tolven.  These document processors can easily be plugged in and give you very granular control of how the data is processed and stored.

For communication from Tolven to Mirth, we use Mirth’s SQL query functionality.  Depending on encryption settings, Mirth can query the Tolven PostgreSQL database to access the necessary data.  SQL views can be used if necessary to simplify and consolidate the data, as Tolven’s data structure can make direct SQL queries quite complex.

One source of difficulty in implementing the connection between Mirth and Tolven is SSL.  Making sure Mirth and Tolven can communicate securely can be tricky.  Installing Mirth and Tolven on the same server simplifies the process, as they can then share SSL certificates.  It is possible for Mirth to live on a different server than Tolven, but setting up the SSL certificates can be difficult.