Managing Communications



The Manage Communications utility allows you to configure the importing of Investigations Results to Clinical, and provides the following functionality;

o       Immediately imports HL7 files deposited into your computer by MDExchange and HealthLink (no need to press F5 to import results).

o       Scans for and automatically configures itself for importing from HealthLink.

o       Periodically imports from all enabled third-party configurations.

o       Periodically imports from Clinical's standard folders. i.e. MedicalDirector Clinical  executable folder and C:\Program Files\Health Communication Network\Messages\In folder.




This functionality is installed automatically with Clinical 3.12 or later; simply install Clinical on the computer on which you intend to import files. This functionality is not available to Pracsoft-only computers.



Configuring Communications

Via the Manage Communications utility you can:

o       For each computer, indicate which MedicalDirector database you will import Investigations Results to.

o       Indicate the frequency with which Clinical checks for and import new Investigation Results.

o       Specify the types of Investigation Result files Clinical recognises, by creating a list of known file extensions.

o       Setup data transfer services, rules for those services, and whether those services are available to all computers on your network or only specific computers.

o       Manage the advanced specifications of any data transfer services you create.

o       Automatically configure Healthlink pathology settings for sites using Healthlink services.

o       Indicate whether Results will be imported automatically and/or manually.

o       Indicate whether you wish to generate an Acknowledgement file to send to your Results Provider upon successfully importing any results you have received from them.




Accessing the Manage Communications Utility

The Manage Communications utility is available via MedicalDirector Maintenance (as explained below), or from within MedicalDirector Clinical by selecting Tools > Manage Communications.

  1. Locate and double-click the MedicalDirector Maintenance icon from your desktop. The MedicalDirector Maintenance window appears.

  2. Select the Database Tasks > MedicalDirector Clinical menu item.


  1. Double-click

    If this is the first time you have tried to run the Manage Communications utility during this session of working in MedicalDirector Maintenance, you will be prompted to select a Configuration, and enter your Username and Password.



General Settings

1.      Within the Manage Communications utility, select the General tab.


2.      Via the Import Database drop-down list, indicate which Clinical database this computer will import Investigation Results to.

3.      Via the Automatic Import Interval drop-down list, indicate the frequency with which you wish MedicalDirector Clinical to automatically check for and import new Investigation Results.

4.      Via the Recognised File Extensions list you can manage the types of Investigation Results files MedicalDirector Clinical recognises.

Clinical recognises a variety of Investigation Result file formats by default, and can be instructed to recognise other formats that you add manually. All of these then appear within the Recognised File Extensions list (shown in the image above). To instruct MedicalDirector Clinical to recognise a specific Investigation Result file format ('RLT', for example) enter the file extension in the field provided and click  Clinical will then look for these files when importing Investigation Results.

It is recommended that you do not delete any of the default extensions provided. These include SNP, CQP, CPL, MPS, QML, PIT, TRN, HMP, HL7, HSM, ORU, GRI, RUS, SDS and SPX.

o       To add a file extension, simply type the extension into the text box provided and then click

o       To remove a file extension, select it and then click


5.      Click to confirm any changes you have made.



Setting Up Data Transfer Services

For each Investigation Results data transfer service you use, you can specify;

o       The name of the service.

o       The category of service (a 'standard' category is provided, and you can create customised categories).

o       The location of the service's Import and Export folders.

o       Whether a particular service will take advantage of the automatic importing of Results via Scheduled Document Import (SDI).

o       Whether you can manually importing Results for a particular service.

o       Whether an Acknowledgement (ACK) file will be generated for a particular service.

o       Whether these settings are available to all computers (Global) or a particular computer.


1.      Within the Manage Communications utility, select the Setup Data Transfer tab.

Note in the image above there are already three data transfer configurations (MD Directory, MD Messages and MDX). These are supplied with MedicalDirector Clinical. Their descriptions, category associations and import/export folder paths cannot be modified. Note also that the MDX path will only be present for sites running MD Exchange.


2.      Click  The Setup Data Transfer Details window appears.


3.      Enter a description for the data transfer service in the text box provided.

4.      Select or create a category to assign this data transfer service to. If you wish to create a new category, simply free-type its name into the Category drop-down list.

5.      Via the Import Folder section, indicate the location on your computer where new Investigation Results for this service will be stored. Your Service Provider may have created a folder for you.

6.      Via the Export Folder section, indicate the location on your computer where Acknowledgement (ACK) files are stored.

7.      Indicate whether Results for this service will be checked for and imported automatically, periodically via Clinical's Scheduled Document Import (SDI) service.

8.      Indicate whether you would also like the ability to import Results manually (by pressing F5 in Clinical).

9.      Indicate whether you would like to generate an Acknowledgement (ACK) file for this Service.

10.  Indicate whether this Service is available to all computers (Global) or only the specific computer you are currently working on.

11.  Click to confirm these settings. You will be returned to the Setup Data Transfer tab, where your new Data Transfer Service can be seen, an example of which is shown below.


12.  Click to confirm any changes made to the Manage Communications utility. This will also close the Manage Communications utility.



Configuring Advanced Pathology Settings:

1.      Within the Manage Communications utility, select the Advanced Pathology tab.


2.      Click (or if you wish to edit and existing configuration, select it and click ). The Association - Advanced Pathology Details window appears.


3.      Via the Provider drop-down list, select the Provider whose advanced pathology settings you wish to configure. If the Provider you wish is not listed, it may be that you have already configured their settings (in which case you cannot add them again), or they do not exist in your Clinical Address Book. See the MedicalDirector Clinical Help for further information about adding companies to the Address Book.

4.      Choose a Data Transfer Configuration via the associated drop-down list. If you need to create a new Data Transfer Configuration, you must do so first, via the Setup Data Transfer tab of the Manage Communications window.

5.      Configure the remaining settings on this window as determined by your Pathology Service Provider. The most common settings will appear by default. Please consult your Service Provider for advice.

6.      Click to confirm these settings.