HL7, which stands for health level seven, provides the messaging standard that aims to connect healthcare organizations that speak different “languages.”
Let’s see what it does so we can better understand it.
Hospitals and other healthcare provider organizations typically have many different computer systems used for everything from billing records to patient tracking. All of these systems should communicate with each other (or “interface”) when they receive new information but not all do so. HL7 specifies a number of flexible standards, guidelines, and methodologies by which various healthcare systems can communicate with each other. Such guidelines or data standards are a set of rules that allow information to be shared and processed in a uniform and consistent manner. These data standards are meant to allow healthcare organizations to easily share clinical information. Theoretically, this ability to exchange information should help to minimize the tendency for medical care to be geographically isolated and highly variable.
Exist is holding a technical session on the principles of Interoperability and an introduction to HL7 2.x. Seats have been filled for the first session, but we might schedule another session, so just sign up for Healthcare IT event alerts to be updated.