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PHIN Message Quality Framework (MQF)


PHIN Message Quality Framework (MQF) is an automated testing tool that ensures messages are adhering to standards defined in the messaging guides by: validating the structure of the message, validating that the messages are following the business rules defined for the message, and verifying that the vocabulary defined for the message is utilized. This tool is hosted at the CDC and can be accessed via a public website

This tool supports implementers in the pretesting of sample messages against the defined Message Specification prior to submitting messages to another provider. In the past a sender would code the message, submit a test message to the receiver, and await feedback. Then the receiving resource would test the submitted message and provide issue and error feedback. This process was labor intensive and required prioritization and coordination between many organizations in order to confirm a test message success or failure.

Use of the MQF tool allows senders the capability to test HL7 messages on their own prior to submitting them to other health partners or the CDC, therefore, decreasing the cost and time to implement integrated systems. The same message may be submitted as many times as necessary to certify the message is free from error.

Figure 1

Interoperability with Conformance Profiles

MQF Release 2.2 provides the capability for implementers, who have interface engines such as Rhapsody, Mirth, Cloverleaf/Quovadx, etc, to download conformance profiles developed based on the message specifications. The formats available for download are XML and Rhapsody S3D. This conformance profile is what the MQF application uses to perform the validation of the messages. Profiles can be downloaded from the following site:


Integration with other Systems



In 2004, the CDC developed a Web-based enterprise vocabulary system called the Public Health Information Network Vocabulary Access and Distribution System (PHIN VADS). MQF introduced vocabulary validation through a real time integration with PHIN VADS by accessing the Web services to validate that the vocabulary is valid for the specified message. The release supports vocabulary validation against the following published message standards:

  • Tuberculosis Case Notification Message Mapping Guide, Version 2.0, 01/09/2009
  • Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) – CDC Public Health Laboratory Interoperability Project (PHLIP) Messaging Guide for Influenza Test Result Reporting by Public Health Laboratories, ORU R01 HL7 v2.3.1, Document version 1.0.2, Sept. 15, 2009
  • All Meaningful Use Specifications

MQF Access

  • Centralized hosting at CDC
  • Accessible via public website
  • Integrated with the CDC Vocabulary Server (PHIN VADS)



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