The Regenstrief Institute has designed and implemented two clinical messaging systems over the past six years, both called DOCS4DOCS®. These systems receive HL7 messages from data sources and deliver results to clinicians via the web, fax, or as HL7 directed to an EMR. This paper focuses on some of the lessons we have learned, both good and bad. We discuss important issues in clinical messaging including provider mapping, document delivery and duplicate prevention, creating uniform HL7 outbound feeds, user authentication, the problems of allowing Active-X controls, why automatic printing of documents is not important although a frequently requested feature, and assorted other pearls of wisdom we have acquired
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