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Developer Toolkit


As part of interface implementation, athenahealth will need to establish a secure method of transfer for electronic data to and from a third party system. The most common options are described in this section. Not all options will be available for all interface types. Please reference our Connectivity Methods Overview.  

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    athenaLightning is a program that can be downloaded and installed inside of a third-party network.  It opens an SSL tunnel out to athenahealth and supports file-based data transfers to and from other applications running inside the client-network.

    athenaLightning User Guide

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    View protocols to access, manage and transfer files over a data stream.

    athena-Hosted SFTP: Initiate external connections by the client or third-party system to a SSH-FTP server in athenahealth’s data center. The client or third-party system is provided with an athena-issued DNS name, username, and password. Once the client-initiated SSH tunnel is established, the client is able to securely transfer files to or from athenahealth.

    Locally-Hosted SFTP: Initiate outbound connections from athenaNet to a third-party or client-hosted SSH2 server. The client provides an IP (or DNS name), username, and password for athenahealth to initiate an outbound SSH connection. Once the SSH tunnel is established we can exchange files locally using SFTP.

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    athenahealth network operations staff can work to establish a point-to-point VPN tunnel (sometimes referred to as site-to-site) between two networks as needed. Once the VPN is in place we can perform file based transfers through plain FTP or run an HL7-receiver / HL7-sender (MLLP TCP/IP socket based transfers). Coordination of VPN staff on both the athenahealth and remote side will add additional time to the project.
    VPN Connectivity Worksheet

    FTP over VPN: Securely and automatically transfer files to and from the client-hosted FTP server. This option requires an established VPN and client-hosted FTP server. The client provides an IP (or DNS name), username, and password for athenahealth to initiate an outbound FTP connection.

    Socket (MLLP) over VPN: Send or receive data through a VPN via MLLP TCP/IP socket based connections. This is accomplished by running an HL7-sender on one end of the tunnel and an HL7-listener on the other end. The source system always runs the “sender” while the receiving (consuming) system always runs the “listener.”

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    athenahealth can initiate outbound connections to a third-party or client-hosted SSH2 server.  Once the SSH tunnel is established athenaNet can run an HL7-receiver and HL7-sender (MLLP TCP/IP socket based transfers) on the client-hosted SSH server in real-time.

    Socket (MLLP) over SSH
    SSH Implementation Guide

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    Web Services for Continuity of Care Document Exchange

    Utilizes a selection or combination of IHE transactions. A secure, certificate-encrypted, transport mechanism for HL7 v3 messages and CCDA documents.

    Web Services

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If your solution can integrate with athenaNet and is relevant to our customer base, consider applying to our MDP program.
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