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eHealth Exchange UDDI FAQs

Question 1: Why does the UDDI 'Description' field show the following 'OID:123 GWPRD01 Text text text...'

Answer: The current best practice is to use an UDDI description that follows the following format:

OID: HCID GW PRD | VAL Gateway number Description of organization

The rationale is that 1) the OID is a key value that should be easily discoverable via human inspection. Putting it in the description allows for that. 2) The GWPRD01 identifier allows participants to easily reference the right eHealth Exchange gateway by just using the convention of "the prod 1 gateway" or "the val 2 gateway". 3) The description is where your organization can be described in about 240 characters.


Question 2: What value should my organization use for the 'Organization Name' field?

Answer: The current best practice is to use an UDDI description that follows the following format: HIE-brand (abbreviation) GWPRD01

Your HIE brand name should generally be used.  If you have multiple names that you can be known by, such as your organization legal name, then this field should contain the name you organization is bringing to the market and promoting as your brand.  For example, the brand of the national health network is the 'My State Exchange' assists with the operation of the eHealth Exchange, but the actual exchange brand is the 'eHealth Exchange' which is the entry we would make in the UDDI. In the event that your organization is known by an abbreviation to your key exchange partners, then that can be included in the Organization Name field too, in parens. For example, many people know of the eHealth Exchange as 'eHEX' so that could be represented in the UDDI as 'eHealth Exchange (eHEX)'.


Question 3: Why are some entries in the UDDI inconsistent with best practices in tems of names, end points, descriptions, etc.?

Answer: We have been systematically working with each organization to update their UDDI entries to use the most recent best practices and conventions.  If you see an problem with your UDDI entry, please let us know by filing a support ticket and we'll work with you to correct your entries.  You can file a tech support ticket by sending an email to techsupport at sequoiaproject dot org


Question 4: What are the proper values for the endpoint versions?

Answer: See this knowledge base article and the official eHealth Exchange specifications page Web Services Registry Web Service Interface Specification for a list of end points and versions.  In general, version 1.0 should be used for 2010 PD, 2.0 for 2011 PD.  For QD, 2.0 should be used for 2010 and 3.0 for 2011.  For RD, use the same values as QD.


Question 5: What is the purpose of the eHealth Exchange UDDI? 

Answer: The UDDI acts like a phone book or directory of services.  It points to each other eHealth Exchange end point.  This provides several important benefits: 1) eHEX Participants don't have to set up VPN or direct TLS connections to each other.  They can instead rely on the UDDI and certificates to establish secure end points on-the-fly. 2) Key capabilities of each eHEX Participant can be determined in advance, with (often) no human confirmation effort needed.  This include security configuration, versions of specifications supported, organizational identification, organizational contacts, and the organizations technical gateway addresses.  3) The UDDI is dynamically updated allowing for new and changed gateways to be quickly, easily, and automatically identified.


Question 6: Why is the eHealth Exchange involved with the ONC's Federated HPD (Healthcare Provider Directory) initiative?

Answer: The Federated HPD ModSpec project has been identified as the likely successor to the eHealth Exchange UDDI.  No timeline has been internally established yet for this transition.  In fact, the decision of when and if we will transition from UDDI to Fed HPD has not been formally made yet and will be made using the normal eHealth Exchange concensus-based decision making process that involves all Participants.  


Question 7: Why can my organization's Home Community ID (HCID) not be changed in the UDDI?

Answer: The eHEX UDDI technology and practices use your organization's HCID as a unique primary key in the underlying database.  This results in our inability to change the HCID once it is initially entered.  If you are not sure of your HCID, please work with your vendor to confirm that the entry is correct before sending the UDDI form to us because we cannot change the value later.  If your HCID does change over time, then we will have to mark your current entry as 'logically deleted' (which just hides it but keeps the entry in the database) and then create a new entry for your new HCID.  Also, please note, that changing your HCID will also cause SIGNIFICANT problems with other eHealth Exchange Partners in some cases.  For example, one federal agency will require manual DBA-level corrections to their internal patient correlations table if you change your HCID.  So please confirm that the entry is correct before submitting it to eHealth Exchange Support Staff, and please don't change it unless you are willing to risk breaking interoperability with other Exchange Partners.


Question 8: Why is CONNECT not retrieving all of the entries from the UDDI?

Answer: Your CONNECT application might have a hardcoded maximum number of rows that it can retrieve. In some versions of CONNECT the class in the package NhincCommonWeb has the max number of rows set to 100. In order to fix this you will need to either hardcode a higher number (not recommended) or make it a dynamic field. Please note that performance can be affected by this change, so ensure that appropriate limits and mechanisms are in place per your organizations policies and standards.






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  1. Eric Heflin

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