Building on the successes of the first pan-Canadian Projectathon event held in March 2022, Infoway, in collaboration with the provinces and territories, invites vendors to participate in the March 2023 Projectathon. Projectathons are an important step and best-practice approach in testing and validation of a specification package, where implementers demonstrate live interoperability of solutions in conformance with pan-Canadian specifications. Read more about Projectathons here.
The focus of the Projectathon March 2022 was to test and improve the quality of the pan-Canadian Patient Summary Interoperability Specifications (PS-CA Specifications) to ensure they are implementable, testable and meet expectations. Details about the 2022 event are available in the 2022 pan-Canadian Projectathon final report available here.
The March 2023 Projectathon was dedicated to supporting Patient Summary implementation projects across Canada. On November 10, 2022, TECHNATION Canada hosted Canada Health Infoway to hold an information sharing webinar regarding the details of the Interoperability Projectathon for 2023. The trimmed recording of the webinar is available here.
The final report for the 2023 pan-Canadian Projectathon is available here.
Focus of the Projectathon March 2023
The Projectathon 2023 focused on interoperability demonstrations based on the pan-Canadian Patient Summary (PS-CA v1.0.0 TI) and the associated pan-Canadian FHIR Exchange (CA:FeX v1.0.0 TI) specifications, both ready for trial implementation. The PS-CA specification defines the building blocks to create and share patient summaries. The CA:FeX specification promotes FHIR RESTful exchange patterns that can be applied on top of existing non-FHIR infrastructure and FHIR servers. These two specification packages support secure exchange of a patient’s health summary document, are represented using the normative release 4.0.1 of the HL7® FHIR® standard, and are closely aligned to the International Patient Summary specification (IPS).
While all jurisdictions have collaborated on the design and review of the patient summary specification, Alberta and Ontario are leading implementation efforts beginning in 2023; other jurisdictions will leverage their learnings. The national and provincial Patient Summary specifications (PS-CA/PS-AB/PS-ON) are harmonized. Vendors should be able to build a single codebase for implementation across multiple provinces, supporting small differences through configuration.
On October 17th, 2022, the Specifications package was approved by the Interoperability Executive Table to be adopted and used by jurisdictions and vendors for Trial Implementation*.
*The Trial Implementation maturity-level designation indicates that a specification is deemed ready for trial implementation in production systems for limited scale projects to meet a health care interoperability need. It has been cycled through public open review periods with jurisdictions and industry partners with all feedback dispositioned, changes incorporated and where appropriate, backlog items identified for a future release. A TI designated specification has been tested and validated, at a Projectathon, where implementers collaborate to test their solutions using methodologies and tools that accelerate interoperability and verify that the specification is deemed ready for trial implementation. Trial implementation is one step closer in the evolution of a final specification, when it is deemed ready for certification.
Testing & Tools Overview
Vendors had an opportunity to test and demonstrate capabilities in two distinct areas of the specification:
- Document format and content
- Secure, exchange transactions
1. Document format and content
The PS-CA FHIR Content Data model was tested using a combination of test data and validation tooling.
- The PS-ON specifications are very closely aligned to the PS-CA and should be supported by minimal configuration of capability in the vendor systems.
- The test cases highlight where configuration is needed and test that it is applied properly, based on claimed vendor conformance.
- The Projectathon offered an assessment of the FHIR document against the ON implementation guidance as represented in the PS-ON specifications, in addition to the PS-CA.
2. Secure, exchange transactions
This area of testing focused on validating the recommended secure exchange methods of the FHIR summary document as presented in the Reference Architecture (RA v0.1.1 DFT), linked to the PS-CA and CA:FeX specifications.
Implementation patterns may differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and information exchange channels may vary in terms of their security footprint. Therefore, the Projectathon test cases have been organized into two categories:
Test cases that test individual actor capabilities in isolation
E.g., how a system can handle encrypted transactions, how a system can handle a CA:FeX transaction, how a system can handle an OAuth 2 token exchange, etc.
Complex test cases that group individual actor capabilities with other relevant actor capabilities to simulate real world scenarios.
E.g., how a patient summary creator system can submit the document to a repository by using an OAuth 2 integration, etc.
Training, Tools & Support Overview
Infoway provided training webinars to support the use of the tools and integrations with the Gazelle test framework. Once registered, vendors were provided with early access to the Gazelle platform for self / pre-Projectathon testing. In addition to Gazelle, Infoway provided a number of testing tools, including Simulators, Emulators and Validators to support the exchange patterns listed in the PS-CA specification. A test package was provided including scenarios for single tests and group testing, along with data set to support document format and content validation for the PS-CA and PS-ON.
Projectathon results were collected into a report on the individual and group actor transactions that vendor systems have proven capabilities in supporting.
- This feature capability assessment will support jurisdictional integration efforts in assessing vendors conformance to their respective deployment models.
- Results can be analyzed from the relevant actor/transactions that align to local architectures.
Projected Benefit for Vendors