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Broadcast (Point to Point Sharing)

Pattern Description

PointToPoint

In many cases, a broadcast may only go to a single recipient (e.g. a Discharge Summary going from a hospital to a GP) – this is a point-to-point share but is technically the same pattern as sharing with multiple recipients.

A new document is published by the document source. The document source has prior knowledge of the Document Consumers who would like to receive a copy of the document. This may be simple configuration, but a more mature implementation of this pattern may make use of a subscription service to allow recipients to subscribe for specific types of document broadcasts (see the “Managing Topics and Subscriptions” capability later in this document).

The Document Source (shown in the diagram above) sends a copy of the full document to each of the Document Consumers.

In some deployments the fan-out to the multiple Document Consumers is managed by middleware.

Document Source and Document Consumers now hold copies of the same information.

Benefits

  • A complete copy of each document is sent and is therefore available in recipient systems whenever required.
  • Can be useful where specific information is only of interest to one or two recipients (e.g. discharge summaries to a GP).

 Concerns

  • Multiple copies of the document exist in each document consuming system, as well as the document source.
  • Data synchronisation issues should be considered (e.g. when a new version of the document is produced or where it is withdrawn).
  • Ownership and data controller responsibilities for the information in the document also need to be considered (see discussion of the “authoritative source of an item of information” earlier in this document).
  • Document Source and Document Consumer applications manage security and IG independently.
  • Does not provide a means to retrospectively “discover” information in a system that has not received the broadcasts previously.
  • Recipients who may need the information have to be identified in advance, so the approach will not scale beyond a local health community.