Presence of nullFlavor causing issues

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Presence of nullFlavor causing issues

Nick King
Hi,

I'm working on connecting our gateway implementation with the VA. However, the VA is having issues processing our PD requests and providing valid responses.

The VA currently isn't providing the queryByParameter element in their PD responses to our PD requests. This causes issues with CONNECT because the queryByParameter element in PD responses is used to create the patient correlations that subsequent QD and RD requests rely on. The VA think that the reason they aren't sending the queryByParameter element in their PD responses is because our PD request contains empty nullFlavor attributes on all possible elements. An example query snippet shows this below:

<parameterList nullFlavor="">
    <livingSubjectAdministrativeGender nullFlavor="">
        <value code="M" nullFlavor=""/>
        <semanticsText>LivingSubject.administrativeGender</semanticsText>
    </livingSubjectAdministrativeGender>
    <livingSubjectBirthTime nullFlavor="">
        <value nullFlavor="" value="19850105"/>
        <semanticsText>LivingSubject.birthTime</semanticsText>
    </livingSubjectBirthTime>
</parameterList>

We can't find if the presence of these empty nullFlavor elements matters or not. Either way, this is the request that CONNECT makes to the VA meaning we don't have direct control over the query content. Moreover, we're not sure if this is simply the way that the query is displayed in the logs when an empty or null nullFlavor list is 'toStringed' within the encompassing query.

Could you please advise on if the presence of these nullFlavor element attributes are valid? Thanks

CONNECT version: 4.4.1
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Re: Presence of nullFlavor causing issues

Sovann Huynh
Administrator
Hi Nick, it's possible that you the issue is you're missing the nullFlavor attribute in the semanticsText fields. Can you try to send it like so:

        <ns2:livingSubjectAdministrativeGender nullFlavor="">
                <ns2:value code="M" nullFlavor=""/>
                <ns2:semanticsText nullFlavor="">LivingSubject.administrativeGender</ns2:semanticsText>
        </ns2:livingSubjectAdministrativeGender>
Sovann
CONNECT Product Team Member
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Re: Presence of nullFlavor causing issues

Nick King
Hi Sovann,

Thanks for the response. How can I send the request the way you're suggesting when that's a request that CONNECT initiates i.e. we have no control over this? The workflow is:

1) We send an entity PD request to CONNECT (we control the content of this request)
2) CONNECT receives entity PD request triggering CONNECT to initiate a gateway PD request to the VA (this is the request that contains the nullFlavor attributes)
3) VA responds to the gateway request (VA response is missing the queryByParameter element)
4) CONNECT receives the VA response and fails to create the patient correlation due to the missing the queryByParameter element
5) CONNECT responds to the initial entity PD request

The request you're suggesting to change is the one CONNECT initiates in step 2. Also, the issue the VA claims to be causing their responses to be invalid is the presence of the nullFlavor attributes, not the absence of them.

Thanks,
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Re: Presence of nullFlavor causing issues

Sovann Huynh
Administrator
Hi Nick,

I've done some local testing and here's what I've found:

- CONNECT does not add the nullFlavor attribute. Whatever is sent to the entity interface is what goes out in the nhin cross-gateway message.
- I've sent a request with all the nullFlavor attributes populated as you've described and am still able to get back a response with the queryByParameter list (and able to establish a patient correlation).

It's possible this could be an adapter issue. Can you remove the suspect nullFlavor attributes from your request and check the response?
Sovann
CONNECT Product Team Member
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