For those of you who generated the healthcare data via Excel, the biggest hurdle in sending the data electronically via the UI channel is figuring out how to convert your excel data into xml. Excel has a way of doing this conversion, but only if the schema is simple. Unfortunately, the government’s schema is not simple because there are so many different possible ways of generating the data and there are many data points to convert.
But xml isn’t the only thing you have to figure out. There are a few other security and technical related things you need to do when sending the data to the government. One is generating a unique code called the UUID, which together with the TCC code and other elements, form a unique identifier UTID each time you transmit data to the government. I think you have several options for generating the UUID: 1) you can find a site that will generate a UUID code for you; 2) you can open Powershell using the Start button and type in the command [guid]::NewGuid() (some Windows have Powershell loaded; 3) open the cmd program using the Start button and type in powershell -Command “[guid]::NewGuid()”; and 4) I thought I had saved a file with a macro and some formulas to create a UUID function. Somewhere out on the Internet somebody wrote a macro to generate the UUID. If I understand correctly, based upon the sample UUID the government had in their guidelines, we are to generate a version 4 UUID which is based upon random numbers. Specifically, we are to generate a UUID based upon the IETF (some internet engineering group) RFC 4122, using version 4 methodology. There are 5 versions or variant of this UUID but the example the government provided looks like variant 4. The result will be a 36 digit code (4 digits will be hyphens) much like xxxxxxxx-xxxx-Mxxx-Nxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx, where M is always 4 (for variant 4) and N is always 8, 9, A or B. This UUID will go into the Manifest file along with the TCC and other elements.
The other thing we need to prepare for is doing the Checksum on the Form Data file. The checksum will help the government determine if the file got corrupted during the transmission of the data. It’s a quasi security thing. The easiest way to do that, for those with Windows, is to use the CertUtil function that should already be loaded onto your machine. You can do a search to see if it pops up. If it does, then go to the cmd by running it from the Start button. Once you are in that black screen, type in CertUtil -hashfile c:\……..\file.xml MD5 where c:\….\ describes the path of your file that you want to do the checksum. Write down the code that gets generated and put it in the Manifest xml file.
I’m certainly learning a lot of new things with this project: first xml, then UUID and finally checksum. It’s been interesting so far.