HL7 Standards: Introduction, Uses and the Purpose of Creation 


Today is an age of digitalization and every industry, every business is shifting its daily workflows to digital processes. Technology is evolving so quickly that you can find some gadget for almost every process. From retail businesses to Estores, from production houses to delivery companies, and from security ventures to healthcare centers, everyone is going digital. With the use of electronic medical records systems, the health sector has improved patient care to a marginal level. Different health entities collaborate with each other, because of HL7 standards, to produce the best possible health service facility.

According to Statista, the number of smartphone users has reached billions and this made healthcare units create EMRs that are accessible with these phones. Patients access these systems to share their health records, schedule their checkups, and exchange their test reports. Doctors and medical staff use these systems for the electronic charting of patients, for exchanging data with other healthcare units, for processing patient records, and much more. All these uses related to patient data were made possible by HL7. Read on to learn in detail about these standards and their uses.

What are HL7 Standards?

HL7 was created and supported by the standards organization – Health Level Seven International. HL7 and its members provide a framework for the integration, exchange, fetching, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information. These standards state how you should package information and communicate it to others. The HL7 defines the language, structure, and data types essential for seamless integration between systems.

Furthermore, these standards also support clinical practice, the management, delivery, and evaluation of health services. They are recognized as the most commonly used health standards in the world. All in all, these standards all the details required in the use of electronic medical records systems.

Who Uses HL7?

According to recent research, over 90% of the healthcare facilities in the United States use HL7. If we divide the HL7 users into specific categories, there are three major segments of HL7 users that we have discussed below:

Clinical Interface Specialists:

This category comprises the people that are responsible for moving clinical data. They create tools to move such data and develop clinical applications that need to exchange or share data with other systems. All in all, these users are liable for moving clinical data between different applications and healthcare providers.

Government or other Politically Homogeneous Entities:

This section includes users that are looking to share data across multiple entities or will involve in future data movement. Moreover, these users are often looking to move clinical data in a new area that is not covered by current interfaces. They also have the capability to adopt or mandate a messaging standard.

Medical Informaticists:

This category comprises those who work within the field of health informatics. Health informatics can be defined as the study of the logic of healthcare and how clinical knowledge is created. These users seek to adopt or create a clinical hierarchical structure of healthcare knowledge (a data model), terminology (a vocabulary), as well as workflow (how things get done).

Benefits Of HL7 to Medical Practices:

Here are some of the benefits HL7 offers to medical practices,

HL7 Improves Clinical Productivity:

These days no patient can go to the same doctor or hospital always and he can’t carry his health records and test reports with him. Therefore, every healthcare facility needs an electronic medical record system that can not only store but share all patient information. To ensure this correspondence between health entities, HL7 set rules and guidelines. This not only improves the performance of health facilities but helps them deliver better healthcare.

HL7 ensures quicker and smoother information exchange which permits clinicians to get up-to-date data. This helps medical staff get a more extensive clinical point of view as more persistent records are accessible for their use. Moreover, HL7 also provides guidelines to organize the data in a more meaningful way like in the form of patient electronic charting.

HL7 Standards Eliminate Administrative Errors

As EMRs gather data directly from the patients, the chances of errors are less. Furthermore, because of HL7, clinicians approach significant data from different sources for their use as they are certain that all information is synchronized and applicable. With a decreased requirement for mentioning and filling out data physically, HL7 saves time and guarantees higher exactness when managing patient records.

HL7 Sets Out Open Doors for Innovation

The HL7 standards open more opportunities to explore different avenues regarding other software solutions. This not just makes a more extensive pool to look over yet, addition, empowers adaptability as far as tech solutions for healthcare organizations.

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