HL7 (Health Level 7) is an ANSI standard for healthcare specific data exchange between computer applications. It is widely accepted and used around the world with minor modifications.
Need of HL7:
All hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare centres around the world require the ability to send and receive healthcare data, including patient information and various lab reports. As a result, vast amounts of healthcare information are exchanged on a daily basis. However, medical data can be extremely complicated due to the abundance of clinical terminology, as well as the structural complexity in the formation of the presented information. Thus, this information must be presented in a standardized format in order to ensure that the data is universally understood and organized.
The language that has been developed to overcome these obstacles is HL7. HL7 consists of grammar and vocabulary that is standardized so that clinical data can be shared amongst all healthcare systems, and easily understood by all. By using HL7 specifications are able to communicate easily with one another, without the need for information conversion.
Potential Problems with existing HL7
There could be problems with HL7 if vendors do not strictly adhere to the HL7 standards. There could be more problems if the messages are not constructed properly or if there is lack of specific segments, required fields, or if system contains unexpected segments.
In addition to this, there are many different flavours of HL7, which, along with inconsistent implementations, result in complications during the communications process. Systems that were designed to handle standard HL7 messages may no longer be able to do so, due to the variations in message formatting.
At Cogniz we design and implement HL7 from scratch according to your specific needs and if one system is already there we can help it run smoothly by providing proper support, maintenance and training. We use messaging tools for enabling applications to communicate and bridge the gap between health care systems, and with integration services we can optimise message routing and transformation between information systems.