In the healthcare industry, following regulations is extremely critical as it affects hospital operations and patient care. If your facility chooses not to follow standards and requirements, it can hinder or halt operations entirely. One standard healthcare facilities must follow today is HL7. The HL7 interface structure is used to communicate between two or more healthcare applications when transferring and sharing data.
What is HL7?
According to Health Level Seven International (HL7), it is a not-for-profit organization that develops ANSI-accredited standards dedicated to providing a comprehensive framework and creates related standards for the exchange, integration, sharing and retrieval of electronic health information. These standards support clinical practices and the management, delivery and evaluation of health services.
Why is the HL7 Interface Important?
HL7 has been a well established standard in the healthcare industry for many decades. Any hospital information systems platform that exchanges data with other applications, especially an EHR, is expected to communicate using HL7. The standards they use are updated on a regular basis to increase compliance and operations. In order to ensure each facility knows what is new and upcoming, they continually release updates to communicate new standards for interoperability. The HL7 interface also ensures all documentation and other data remain consistent across all systems, even if the systems are part of different health care organizations.
HL7 with dbtech
Because HL7 is standard practice, our team at dbtech has been able to plug and play with most interfaces, both inbound and outbound. However inbound interfaces are typically more complex as vendors and customers often do not adhere 100% to established standards.
On an inbound side, hospitals reuse HL7 interfaces they have in place for other applications like lab or radiology systems, so they are familiar with the transactions that are expected. This helps ease implementation. Any hospital vendor that communicates data between two applications, especially the EHR, is expected to be versed and tested in HL7.
To learn more about HL7, check out https://www.hl7.org/ .