Network Connection Methods

During the discovery phase of a new interface, there will need to be a decision made regarding the network connectivity of the two parties. All HL7 interfaces will use one of the following methods. This article describes the different methods as well as the information required from the vendor to complete the corresponding connection. 

VPN | Virtual Private Network

A VPN to our communication servers can be established with the third party to transfer various HL7 files. This is the preferred connection method for us. The benefit of a VPN is the ability to receive an ACK, or Acknowledgement Message. This lets us know if the file successfully transfers to their server.


  1. Third-Party Provides VPN Worksheet
  2. Uses TCP/IP protocols
  3. Private Key exchange

SFTP | Secure File Transfer Protocol

The SFTP connection method is useful due to its simplicity. The downfall, however, is the inability to receive confirmation that the HL7 file has been received. Establishing connectivity to an SFTP server does not require involvement from the data center, Expedient, unlike the VPN method. 


  1. Third-Party Hosts SFTP Server
  2. Affiliate provides:
    • Destination (Domain/IP)
    • User Name
    • Password
    • Directory Location (if other than root)
    • Port (if other than 22)