HomeHealthA Complete Guide on the Aims and Objectives of HL7 Standards 

A Complete Guide on the Aims and Objectives of HL7 Standards 

Since the health sector started using digital technology for patient screening, information gathering, and other operations of this sort, the exchange of information has been a major issue. Interoperability is a topic on which different solutions were suggested in past. Although these were very advanced programming solutions, yet the healthcare information exchange remained full of data misinterpretation. This problem was keeping the health industry to deliver the best healthcare. So, the need for seamless data integration and exchange was taken care of by HL7 standards.

To simplify the process of data gathering, data processing, and data exchange, the non-profit organization, Health Level Seven International, developed HL7. These standards helped developers in building automated medical assistant solutions that can collaborate with each other. To learn about the technicalities, importance, and benefits of the HL7 interface, continue reading!

What are HL7 Standards?

HL7 or Health Level 7 comprises a set of clinical standards and messaging formats that provide a framework. This framework is used for the management, integration, processing, exchange, and retrieval of electronic information across different healthcare systems. Health Level Seven International, a healthcare standards organization, created and is maintaining these standards. The goal behind the creation of this framework was to enhance interoperability between healthcare information systems (HISs) that have implemented it.

HL7 focuses on the interfaces between dissimilar HISs by creating a common data exchange language using prebuilt messages. It is a transaction-based protocol that is driven by events such as the admittance of a patient to a hospital. Hence, communication between different types of software that is used by different organizations has always been challenging became viable.

Aims and Objectives of HL7: 

Each healthcare facility is unique because of its difference in clinical processes, software systems in use, methods of patient screening, and database structures. Moreover, the way how data is collected, stored, used, and payment structures are also different in different organizations. This means that healthcare units (hospitals, clinics, podiatrist offices, outpatient surgery centers, etc.) have unique requirements and processes for interacting with patients and data.

The main objective behind the creation of HL7 is to simplify the implementation of interfaces between various vendors and healthcare software applications. HL7 international created HL7 to reduce the cost and time involved in custom interface programming.

 

Prior to the creation of these standards, healthcare IT systems performed data exchanges via customized interfacing systems. Vendors of both receiving and sending applications created these standards through a great deal of programming effort. There were no standard data formats for gathering, storing, and processing patient data. This is why the cost of building such interfaces was prohibitive, and most hospitals (in the 1980s) had only a few such interfaces.

Importance of HL7:

The following points will highlight the importance of HL7,

Integration With Other Systems: 

In today’s digital world, healthcare facilities are making use of much-advanced software to run essential daily work processes. All these software applications are designed with different functionalities and features. Some tools include the basic features and the other holds advanced functions that can provide automated medical assistant.

The real challenge here is that some healthcare facilities are using large and complex data systems. They are operating these systems by use of massive data while other organizations use more simple and basic solutions. The main purpose of the HL7 is to create a universal protocol so that healthcare organizations with proper permission can access and retrieve information from each other.

Workflow Automation: 

It is very difficult to appropriately impart information between different EHRs and other information sources, including lab services and so on. The standards of HL7 can help improve interoperability and send information whether the systems utilize older communication systems or current APIs

Collaboration: 

HL7 serves as an integral resource for storing and exchanging data and has potential for worldwide use and collaboration. One of the continuous issues in the medical care industry includes cooperation between different healthcare organizations. Collaboration has great significance because it helps medical staff to avoid making hasty decisions regarding the treatment of a patient. In emergency cases, when there is no time to go through the complete medical history of the patient, the collaboration with his previous doctors can save the patient.

HL7standards make a bond together for all medical care players, including private clinics, labs, and healthcare software providers, empowering them to coordinate quicker and more proficiently. Moreover, HL7 protocols assume a vital part amid the global COVID-19 pandemic for the healthcare industry.

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