How Does HL7 Work In The Modern Healthcare System?

Health Level 7 (HL7) is a set of international standards that are used to provide guidance on the transfer and exchange of data between various health care providers. In other words, HL7 integration is a set of standards to facilitate the electronic exchange of clinical information, which acts as a bridge between health care services and the advancement of information technology. 

If we are talking about the start of HL7, you need to understand that standards were created by Health Level Seven International, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive framework and related standards for the exchange, integration and retrieval of electronic health information. The use of these standards promotes clinical practise as well as the administration, advantages, and assessments of healthcare services. 

More than 1,600 people from more than 40 different nations are involved in HL7, including more than 500 corporate members who are healthcare providers, governmental agencies, pharmaceutical firms, vendors and suppliers, and consulting firms.

Why does the health sector need HL7?

To view the pertinent diagnosis for a patient, many healthcare professionals, especially specialists, must access various electronic systems. If they offer services in outpatient facilities that are not all connected to the neighbourhood hospital system, this may be much more difficult. This is where the interoperability resources of Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources and HL7 interoperability standards come into play, such as the HL7 v2 messaging format or FHIR v4, which are the latest versions.

Clinical data classes (such as diagnoses, allergies, procedures, laboratory results, etc.) can have their content and structures described in a common language so that data can be exchanged between electronic health records (EHR) for patients without confusion or the possibility of misinterpretation.

What are the main advantages of HL7?

The number of contexts and services that can be included to the aggregated patient record rises with HL7 standard compliance. Standards have been changing to preserve their relevance and establish the guidelines for admitting new use cases as a reflection of the movement in health care towards the incorporation of data kinds and newer technologies such as wearables. It means that from traditional messaging and document-based paradigms the process goes to the most current APIs.

The main purpose of HL7 is to allow the exchange and integration of the data that comes from the Medical Care Process, through the development of guides, methodologies and services in general, offering interoperability between Health Information Systems, in an efficient and flexible way in terms of costs. This is a beneficial tool because: 

  • Allows the exchange of information between applications developed by different software providers.
  • Reduces paper work, improving support for decisions and allowing the integration of health information, over time, between different services.
  • Allows connectivity between heterogeneous systems at competitive costs.
  •  It offers flexibility, because it can be implemented using various software technologies.
  •  Reduce the resources invested in the negotiation of interfaces between applications.

Moreover, a professional development team like Langate helps with the communication software.  This solution works as a centralised communication platform, displaying appointment reminders, customer comments and other touchpoints to speed response and keep your organization close to the patient, facilitating optimal customer interaction.

Customer relationship management software will also allow you to make quotes online and send them quickly, providing a quick response to users and patients interested in your healthcare facility's services. In turn, sales document tracking is another tool that professional software enables, increasing the productivity of the sales team and proactively managing the current sales processes.

How does it help to maximise the value of the patient's medical history?

The two most prominent topics in IT to ensure the quality of data in health are the quality of the medical history, with tabulated data and interoperability. Most health care providers use a wide variety of applications (e.g., radiology, laboratory results or patient management systems) for their daily needs.

To maximize the value of the patient's medical history (HRD), data exchange and, therefore, interoperability is crucial. The problem arises when the communication between the various applications. Additional complexities arise when two different health care providers need to share information.

Having visibility over the data that was generated elsewhere can be difficult to achieve, sometimes impossible if the systems display information in a patented or personalized way that only makes sense for them.

HL7 provides the necessary guidelines to help software providers and health care providers store and share data. This ensures that the data can be easily integrated into all systems, exposed in a binder way and be consulted in its entirety by health care providers and staff, which in turn reduces the administrative burden and improves patient care.

The way to minimize duplication of work and improve clinical efficiency

Patients often have many points of contact with different hospitals or health care centres throughout their lives. For example, a meeting with a family doctor could result in a referral to a physio, medications to a pharmacy, laboratory tests and could result in hospitalization.

In cases like this, patients cannot be expected to carry their entire medical history with them. Standards such as HL7 facilitate the integration of data, making information available to health care providers and allowing them to make better clinical decisions more efficiently.

Platforms compatible with HL7 standards facilitate integration between centers for better care for their patients and also to facilitate interpretation in international research projects. Interoperability is the objective of these standards, offering a wide range of systems that can share data through messaging, document-based exchange or API. It is not about the channel, but about the operational language that everyone can manage in a common way, ensuring that the relevant patient information is available at the right time and in the correct format.

As you can see, professional IT developers can improve your business and healthcare customer experience in general. Healthcare milking software also provides support in all aspects of lead management and acquisition. Healthcare organizations and even pharmacies and clinical laboratories can use the features of this tool to create conversion forms, promote the services of healthcare professionals and generally conduct marketing campaigns.