HL7 Standards: Uses, Importance, & Benefits


The growth of technology brings innovative opportunities of entertainment and productivity in businesses. Which is why, everyone has begun to carry their mobile devices everywhere they go. Industries of all sorts are embracing this technological era and medical facilities are no exception. They have also developed IT systems to improve efficiency and assist their patients. They use these applications to retrieve, process and share patient data. Plus, to perform all these tasks, experts have created several global standards called the HL7 standards.

HL7 is designed to address communication issues and improve the content of clinical data by providing the required structure. The HL7 standard makes the entire medical information collection, interpretation, and exchange cycle efficient and error-free. Physicians can easily share diagnoses and test results between EHR vendors. Plus, doctors have quick access to medical records, and nurses can monitor scheduled procedures. What exactly is HL7 integration and why is it so important? Read this article as it provides answers to all these questions. But before considering these answers, let’s start with a simple definition.

What are HL7 Standards?

The HL7 standard is a document created by consensus between HL7 and its members. Plus, the rules, guidelines, or characteristics of activities, or their results, are called standards. A set of international health standards “Health Level 7 or HL 7” is responsible for the transfer of clinical and administrative data between various software applications for medical records.

Today, healthcare systems include a large number of care institutions and stakeholders who use different information systems in their care. Globally recognized standards also allow Health record providers to assess and develop key issues such as leadership, governance, infection prevention, and control.

Plus, drug management that impacts the quality of service that the general public receives. In addition, these standards create a strong structure that providers, politicians, and the general public can trust. This standard guarantees high-quality medical services where it is most important.

Here are some important benefits of the HL7 standard in healthcare centers:

  • It Reduces Human Errors

Due to the usage of digital forms (developed under the guidelines of HL7), patients fill their data by themselves and this reduces the chances of error. Also, doctors and other practitioners get this information prior to patient screening which gives them time for preparation.

Hence, they will not make hasty decisions and as a result, the chances of errors become even less. Also, through HL7-based applications, clinicians collect significant data from different sources and make sure that all information collected is synchronized and usable for other organizations.

  • It Provides Interoperability 

Different healthcare units use different kinds of software applications. These applications are programmed in different languages and they provide different functionality. For instance, hospitals use complex, customized systems while general practitioners usually use out-of-the-box practice management software.  

The medical research institutes may use application that is part of a larger network like a university. Often, these types of organizations need to exchange patient data with each other. And the goal of HL7 is to enable healthcare organizations to create uniform data that anyone with authorization can retrieve and use when needed. Interoperability between healthcare institutions necessitates that interface between different systems uses a common protocol like HL7. 

  • It Provides Better Patient Care

Nowadays, patients expect a certain level of service, and online access to their personal, diagnostic, and prescription data is on the list of these demands. This is why the number of digital health applications and different personal health devices, from wearable heart monitors to insulin pumps, is growing.

And HL7 is providing a framework for the sustainable data ecosystem needed to support the intensifying exchange of medical data. Integration of an HL7 interface in medical centers leads to streamlining the practices of acquiring, storing, and processing data. Unencumbered by administrative burdens, medical professionals can, now, concentrate on providing better care to their patients.  

Final Words

After the outbreak of COVID19, medical institutions have every reason to digitize. To reduce the physical burden, they are currently collecting patient data with the help of new patient forms of medical care. The EHR vendors provide this form along with other patient forms to reduce the workload of employees.

In addition, these new patient forms help reduce the likelihood of errors in collecting patient health records. So, HL7 standards play an important role in all sorts of healthcare center.

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