How HL7 brings new innovations in Healthcare

HL7 or Health level 7 is defined as a set of standards, definitions & formats for transfer & exchange of administrative or clinical data between software applications. In OSI (Open system interconnect) model in networking, these standards focus mainly on the application layer. These standards generally send health-related information in form of one or more messages includes patient records, billing information etc.

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The International standard organization has produced HL7 standards and allow various healthcare organizations to share clinical information.In our previous articles, we explain Healthcare technology trends, EHR benefits, Iot in healthcare, sensors changing healthcare, Virtual reality, Artificial intelligence in healthcare, Hospital information system-HISTree etc in detail. Here we are going to explain Hl7 standards, messages and benefits etc in detail.

HL7 standards & Messages in Healthcare:

In the healthcare industry, various healthcare providers or systems uses Hl7 messages, standards & methodologies to communicate with each other. Let’s have a look at its standards, messages etc.

HL7 Messages:

Sometimes, some machines or systems don’t understand the language and required translator for that. To solve this problem in the healthcare system, Hl7 messages are used to share the electronic information like patient admission etc.

Health level seven messages consist of one or more segments & each segment consist of one of more composites i.e. fields. As we know both the Hl7 message types or trigger event are found in the MSH-9 field of the message. Sometimes we got confused or not sure that we are using correct message type or trigger for use while receiving or sending messages. So we standardize various message types because if on receiver side wrong trigger or message type is received than whole data got lost or misinterpreted. Following of message types used are:

  • MDM- Medical document management
  • QRY- Query, original mode
  • BAR- Change/Add billing account
  • ACK- General acknowledgment
  • ORM-Order (Pharmacy/Treatment)
  • DFT-Detailed financial transaction
  • ADT-Admit discharge transfer
  • RDE- Pharmacy/treatment encoded order
  • MFN-Master files notification
  • SIU- Scheduling information unsolicited
  • RGV- Pharmacy/treatment give
  • ORU- observation result (Unsolicited)

All Hl7 messages are in ASCII (human readable) format though for interpretation it requires little efforts.

HL7 Standards:

For sharing, integration, retrieval of electronic health information in a consistent or unique manner, Hl7 & its members provide a set of  standards or rules. These are the most commonly used standards in healthcare services because it supports clinical practice, management etc. Its standards are characterized in following categories .

Primary Standards: 

These standards are the most demandable standards used for interoperability and system integration. Health level seven international considers these standards to be most commonly implemented & used. Following of primary standards are:

  • Hl7 V2:  To support clinical, administrative financial processes this health level 7 version describes the series of electronic messages & supports the hospital workflow. It allows interoperability between EMR, LIS, Billing systems, EHR systems etc.
  • Hl7 version 3 messaging:  This standard is based on object-oriented principles and formal methodology. To support all healthcare flows, this version 3 messaging standard describes a series of secure text messages.
  • Continuity of care document (CCD):  It is a US based specification used for the exchange of medical summaries.
  • Clinical Document Architecture (CDA):   It is an XML-based markup standard used to specify the encoding, semantics, and structure of clinical documents for exchange.
  • Structured product Labelling (SPL):  It  is based on version 3 describes the published information that accompanies a medicine.
  • Clinical Context object workgroup (CCOW):   To share patient context and user context in real time, thus standard protocol is preferred to enable applications.

HL7 Benefits:

With the advancement of technology in the healthcare industry, various HL7 interface standards have been used. Let’s have a look at its various benefits.

  • It helps in creating National health information network & Electronic health record.
  • It helps in facilitating the development of interoperable systems.
  • It facilitates the easy communications between systems.
  • It implements cost effective solutions pertaining to healthcare.
  • With the help of these standards, healthcare information can be delivered in a consistent manner to the patient.

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