An Overview On The HL7 Interface Development

HL7 is widely used communication medium which facilitates quick and easy information exchange between clinical applications. This platform is quite beneficial because it is known for its simplified interface implementation.

Although it came into existence in the late 1980’s, the HL7 interface development has come with a standardized format which is highly flexible and easy to use. Sometimes the versatility of this platform also is a challenge when it comes to deployment of HL7 interfaces.

HL7 interface development is basically done to bridge communication gaps in between application analysts, application programmers, integration specialists and system analysts respectively.

Facilitating appropriate communication among healthcare applications, HL7 interface comprises of

      • Export endpoint for the one that sends application
      • Import endpoint for the one that receives application
      • Data movement between two endpoints
      • Handling of messages queued
      • Logging of messages flowing

General understanding is that healthcare applications must enable acceptance and sending of patient data and also have certain terms on what will be accepted and sent.

Usually, the acceptance and sending is not so flexible and therefore there is no easy exchanging of data. The control is just to ensure data integrity internally.

In order to apply a Hl7 interface, among multiple applications, usually people implement point to point interface or use an interface engine for the purpose.

HL7 interface development involves exceptional standardization of communication process enhancing better information exchange in between different applications.

Understanding The Major Challenges

Customizable HL7 Format

The HL7 specifies certain data structure depending on segments, events, fields and the types of data. This structure has to be in sync with clinical work flows and the representations of data so that extensive customization is allowed even in the presence of product specifications.

Configuration and customization of code sets

The HL7 comes with a bunch of data values for transaction which are customizable. These sometimes need to be configured. This is also a challenge.

HL7 Data Semantics

Its not just the data value, the meaning of the data also should be exchanged properly. So, its important for HL7 interface to accurately convey the meaning. Proper conveying of meaning avoids chaos.

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About the Author: Vijay Aegis

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