Building Block: Information mediator
Maturity: BETA

Short Description: Provides a gateway between external digital applications and other ICT Building Blocks, thereby ensuring interoperability and implementation of standards, which is essential for integrating various ICT Building Blocks and applications.

Full Description: The information mediator services ICT Building Blocks enables the service consumer or requestor to connect to the correct service provider through the introduction of a reliable set of capabilities. Information mediator services act as a channel through which external applications connect to other ICT Building Blocks such as registry services, terminology services and repository services. They process, translate and log information transactions, as well as communication errors between applications and other ICT Building Blocks. They provide the capability of services mediation and orchestration, which includes transformation, routing and protocol conversion to transport service requests from the service requester to the correct service provider. Information mediator services can use standard APIs across the platform, reducing the need for each application or ICT Building Block to have its own API, thereby avoiding coding redundancy aand accelerating implementation. This component does not stand alone, however; it needs to be developed in conjunction with other core components, such as registries, repositories, etc. By allowing different applications to exchange information, it can act as a mechanism to encourage or enforce best practices, clinical guidelines, and policy, in cross-facility WorkFlows and business processes.

Other Names: Integration services

Key Digital Functionalities:

  • Routes requests to the correct provider after necessary message transformation functionalities and protocol conversion
  • Connects the service requestor to the service provider and its underlying solution platforms, realizing the requested service
  • Discovers services and, at runtime, to support the virtualization of services, so that changes to end-points can occur without impact to service consumers and service providers
  • Supports the handling of transactions and associated communication errors and exceptions
  • Enforces access privileges and other security policies
  • Maintains service invocation history and monitors and tracks service invocations
  • Provides local caching/broadcast/multicast capabilities to reduce repeated access to databases for the same information and to speed up data exchange
  • Translates data from one format to another, and interoperates with handshake protocols to enable interoperability between different ICT Building Blocks duplications

Examples of use in different sectors:

  • Health sector: 
    • The Health Information Access Layer (HIAL) in Canada provides communications services, common services and supporting components to broker data and service requests from point-of-service applications
    • It publishes a catalogue of available services, such as services to access registries and domain repositories (eg labs, drugs, diagnostic images)
    • A point-of-service system requests the ‘get lab results’ service for a healthcare client as part of the larger business service of managing lab results and reports
    • The system or user requesting the service does not need to know how to interface with the registries, domain repositories and applications; it just needs to know how to request a service that is exposed through the HIAL

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