A Comprehensive Guide to Understand the HL7 Standards

Veerchual is offering an automated health system, developed under HL7 standards, that can completely manage your Health facility at a very economical cost.

Technology has been evolving for years and during the last three decades, it has seen the greatest transformation. Systems are coming into existence that can handle almost every business operation which is why manual procedures are defuncting. Every industry is replacing its traditional workflows with technology-dependent operations. The health sector has also started using an automated medical assistant to handle things like fetching patient records and patient screening. These electronic health record systems are developed and work under the guidelines provided by the HL7 standards.

These standards provide information on how healthcare units should fetch, process, exchange, and share patient data. This data is normally shared with other systems of the same healthcare or with other health facilities. Without these standards, the health sector was facing huge problems with the development of medical applications. They also had to deal with situations when sharing of patient data is required. The HL7 resolved all these and many other relevant challenges. This blog will walk you through all the technicalities of these standards, so, continue reading!

What are the HL7 Standards? 

Health Level 7 comprises a set of clinical standards and messaging formats that provide a framework and guidelines for the health sector. These guidelines help health facilities in the management, integration, exchange, and retrieval of electronic information across different healthcare systems. Health Level Seven International, a healthcare standards organization, developed and maintained these standards. The aim behind the development of HL7 is to enhance interoperability between HISs (healthcare information systems). It focuses on the interfaces between dissimilar HISs by creating a common language for data exchange by use of prebuilt messages. HL7 does not dictate system architecture or how you should store data in an application rather it just provides a guideline.

Closer Overview of HL7: 

These Standards for HL7 have been grouped into seven different sections. Heres a synopsis of each section for your understanding:

  • Primary Standards:

This section includes some of the most common/popular standards. Furthermore, these are the most frequently used standards for system integration and compliance. So, it,s a good place to start learning about the technicalities of HL7.

  • Foundational Standards:

These are the basic tools or fundamentals on which the standards were built. Also, they manage the technology that you as a medical professional are implementing under HL7 standard.

  • Clinical and Administrative Domains:

This section comprises standards related to HL7 documents and messaging. Typically, you will have primary and foundational standards in place before getting into standards for clinical specialty standards.

  • EHR Profiles:

The standards for Electronic Health Records make it possible for you to build a health record system with models and profiles. This section deals specifically with how to choose a behavioural health EHR but the principles apply to all EHRs.

  • Implementation Guides:

This section helps you implement and support documents that were made for the purpose of a current standard. Each document here will serve as supportive material for one of the other standards.

  • Rules and References:

These are the programming structures and guidelines for the growth and expansion of standards and software.

  • Education and Awareness:

In this section, you,ll find the Standards for Trial Use (STU) and other projects currently happening. There are also various tools and resources here that can help you understand HL7 and put it into practice.

Why Healthcare Application Use HL7? 

The communication between different types of software, run by different organizations, has always been challenging. The same is the situation with an automated medical assistant that healthcare facilities are using. All healthcare units usually use applications that were programmed in different languages and that provide different functionality. For instance, hospitals and larger clinics use complex, customized systems while general practitioners use simple practice management software.

Medical research institutes may use software that is part of a larger network like a university. Often, all these types of medical institutions need to exchange data about patients. The goal of HL7 is to enable healthcare organizations to create a uniform system and similar data that anyone with authorization can retrieve and use. Interoperability between healthcare organizations necessitates those interfaces between different systems use a common protocol like HL7.

Final Thoughts: 

Patients neither go to the same doctor or same hospitals, nor they can carry their health records and test reports with them always. So, for patient screening and other related tasks electronic health records systems should be installed in all health facilities. And these systems must communicate with each other when the exchange of information is needed. But as all health systems are developed in different languages and by different developers, they may use a different type of data. And to create uniformity in the development of these systems and exchange of data, Health Level 7 international created HL7 standards.