Regular Expression in SMAT

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  • #50297
    Keith McLeod

    What is the language behind the regular expression usage in SMAT.  I am looking to see if I can search in SMAT for messages that have ‘&’ in other locations besides directly after MSH in MSH:2.  I am able to do this in other tools but though it would be nice to apply it in SMAT directly.  I understand I will probably get a lot of hits if there are many messages with the ‘&’ character in fields as part of the HL7 convention.  But lets say I want to find messages where the ‘&’ falls between 2 pipes or 2 carats or a combination of pipe and carat.

    Example |History & Physical|^R&D|^Bob & Bill^|

    Can this be done using the SMAT regular expression location?

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  • Author
    • #65526
      Tom Rioux

      Since most of the time you would see the & symbol preceded by and/or followed by a space, you can simply enter ” &” (that is a space then the symbol) into the regular expression search field in SMAT.  That would return instances such as:

      History & Physical

      Bob & Bill

      However, if you are looking to return those that may be preceeded and/or followed by the field separator pipe, you would need to use the backslash in your regular expression search.  To find something like “|&|” you would enter the reguar expression search as “|&|” or just simply “|&”.

      In either instances, you are not just returning all messages because of the one listed in MSH.2.

      Hope this helps….

      Tom Rioux

      Baylor Health Care System

    • #65527
      John Mercogliano


       I use the following regular expression in the Smat tool to find messages with more then 1 ampersand:



      Hope this helps,

      John Mercogliano
      Sentara Healthcare
      Hampton Roads, VA

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