Creating Orders from HL7 Messages


You can automatically create orders in Ovation from files that contain HL7®  messages that satisfy Ovation’s specification.

You can provide these files in an SFTP folder or you can upload them into Ovation manually.

Setting up HL7 Order Import

Enabling the Feature

  1. Navigate to More | Lab | Integrations
  2. Choose the HL7 Order Import via SFTP tile
  3. Enable it by configuring an SFTP host as prompted (see below)
  4. On the Mapping tab, create at least one mapping (see below)

Configuring an SFTP Host

You can set up an SFTP host for transferring HL7 files. You can either use your own or use Ovation's.

  1. If necessary, navigate to More | Lab | Integration, choose the HL7 Order Import via SFTP tile and choose the Configuration tab. (This is not necessary when setting up the host for the first time.)
  2. Toggle "USE OVATION HOSTED SFTP" to indicate whether you will provide the SFTP server or you want Ovation to provide it.
  3. If you will provide it…
    1. HOST: Enter the URL of the host
    2. PORT: Enter the port the host uses
    3. USERNAME: Enter the username, assuring that the account has write access to the specified folder
    4. PASSWORD: Enter the corresponding
    5. SOURCE FILE PATH: Enter the file folder in which your HL7 messages will be found
  4. If Ovation will provide it…
    1. The host, username and initial SSH key will be generated for you automatically.
    2. The port is 22.
    3. You can create and manage additional SSH keys as needed. 

Testing SFTP Host Configuration

If you are using your own SFTP host, you can easily test whether Ovation is able to connect to it and authenticate with the credentials you provided. Just press the Test Connection button. Ovation will attempt to connect and authenticate. If this fails, the error message received from the host will be displayed.

Configuring HL7 Mappings

You must create a mapping so that Ovation knows how to process your HL7 message to properly create the order. Reference the mapping to use in the HL7 message using the ZOV-1 field. The mapping then informs Ovation which data is to be found in which fields in the HL7 message as well as the project and requisition template in which to create the order.

Ovation recommends that your mapping refer to the latest version of the standard HL7 mapping (identified by the name starting with "Ovation Standard"). In some cases, you may be able to use a custom HL7 mapping to provide data in different segments, fields or subfields or even change acceptable values to equivalent options. To consider a custom engagement, click on the help beacon in the lower right corner of the application, select the Project Request Form option and complete the form. Ovation will follow up with you directly.

You can create multiple mappings so that different messages can be formatted differently and create orders in different projects or requisition templates.

  1. Navigate to More | Lab | Integrations
  2. Choose the HL7 Order Import via SFTP tile
  3. On the Mapping tab, choose Add Mapping.
  4. Provide the necessary information
    1. Identifier: Enter any text that is not reused in this list
    2. Project: Select the project in which orders should be created
    3. Requisition Template: Select the requisition template that created orders should use
    4. Test Panels: Do not use this option
    5. HL7 Mapping: Select the mapping to use, which should usually be the most recent version of "Ovation Standard."

Using HL7 Order Import

Creating orders by importing HL7 messages manually

  1. Navigate to More | Lab | Integrations
  2. Choose the HL7 Order Import via SFTP tile
  3. Press the “Import File” button
  4. Use the file browser to find the HL7 message file on your local system that you want to import
  5. Choose "Create"
  6. Observe whether the order was successfully created or what error occurred in the message that appears in the lower-left corner of the page.
  7. Consider navigating to the Event Log tab to see more, as described below.

Creating orders with HL7 messages in SFTP

Put the HL7 message files in the configured file folder. If you are hosting your own server, you indicated this folder in the configuration. If you are using Ovation’s, you only have access to the one folder.

Note: Ovation will only not retrieve more than 50 orders from the SFTP host within 30 minutes.

Your message must specify the mapping to use in ZOV-1. In general, your message must comply with the HL7 mapping associated with the mapping you indicate in ZOV-1. In most cases, this is the standard mapping described in the "HL7 Specification" article.

Your files must have the .HL7 extension (in any case) to be processed by Ovation. Ovation will ignore all other files.

You can use any standard SFTP tools (or your own custom code) to view files, copy and remove files, etc.

Ovation picks up files from the location approximately every 15 minutes and attempts to create orders from each of them. After Ovation loads the file, and whether or not it is able to successfully create a requisition from it, it deletes the file so that it will not be processed again later.

Monitoring results

You can view the results of each attempt to create an order from an HL7 message.

  1. Navigate to More | Lab | Integrations
  2. Choose the HL7 Order Import via SFTP tile
  3. On the Event Log tab, observe all attempts to create an order from an HL7 message in the past thirty days
  4. You can sort and filter the list as indicated
  5. For successful attempts, you can see the ID of the created order and navigate there by clicking on it
  6. For unsuccessful attempts, you can see a description of the error
  7. You can view and download the actual HL7 message by clicking on the link. (You could use this feature to download a malformed message, correct it locally, and then manually import it using the functionality described above.)


HL7®, and FHIR® are the registered trademarks of Health Level Seven International and our use of these trademarks does not constitute an endorsement by HL7.

Did this answer your question? Thanks for the feedback There was a problem submitting your feedback. Please try again later.