Laika (EHR testing framework)
Laika is an open source Electronic Health Record (EHR) testing framework. Laika analyzes and reports on the interoperability capabilities of EHR systems. This includes the testing for certification of EHR software products and networks. Laika is designed to verify the input and output of EHR data against the standards and criteria identified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT).
Since June 2008, Laika has been used by CCHIT to perform the machine-automated testing of EHR systems for interoperability.
Laika Interoperability Packages
- Laika C32: Laika C32 was the first tool to be created in the Laika framework suite, and supports testing of the HL7/ASTM Continuity of Care Document (CCD) constrained by the HITSP C32 version 2.1 specification.
- Laika ORU: was released in September 2008 to test the interoperability of HL7 2.5.1 lab messages. Laika ORU can be used with Mirth, an open source health informatics messaging package, to manage the routing of HL7 2.5.1 lab messages with Laika.
- Laika XDS: is scheduled to be released in March 2009 to test EHR systems and Health Information Exchange systems with XDS registries and repositories.
CCHIT and MITRE Collaboration
Laika is an active collaborative effort between CCHIT and The MITRE Corporation. CCHIT is leading the functional requirements definition of the Laika testing framework. MITRE is leading the technical software design and is prototyping the software service.
The Certification Commission is a private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate adoption of health information technology in the United States. MITRE is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation that manages three Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) and works in partnership with the US government applying systems engineering and advanced technology to address issues of critical national importance in the USA.
Deployment in Virtual Environments
Laika has been deployed in virtual environments using, for example, the Amazon cloud environment. This allows centralized testing of multiple EHRs in segmented environments. It also allows portable implementations, so that field testing can be achieved.
Laika and popHealth
In 2010, the core Laika software infrastructure, consisting of the Laika database and Rails controllers, was forked to support the open source popHealth project. The popHealth project was developed from resources provided by the Federal Health Architecture (FHA) within the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC). popHealth integrates with a healthcare provider's electronic health record (EHR) system to produce summary quality measures on the provider's patient population. The MITRE Corporation was also tasked as the technical lead team for the popHealth activity.