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Everything You Need to Know About HL7 Interfaces

Jul 10, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Blog - Everything you need to know about HL7 Interfaces

In the ever-evolving world of healthcare and technology, the efficient exchange of patient data is crucial for providing timely and accurate care. One of the most widely adopted standards for healthcare data integration is HL7 (Health Level 7). Whether a healthcare organization is implementing new or upgrading existing software, Health Level Seven International (HL7) interfaces will typically be considered.

Let's dive into the details of HL7 interfaces and how HL7 Integrator Experts can help your company implement this solution.

What are HL7 Interfaces?

HL7, or Health Level-7, is an international message standard that provides a framework for communicating patient information between software platforms in the healthcare industry.

HL7 refers to the process or software solutions that process data in a way that the provider or software system on the receiving end can interpret the data.

Patient information between healthcare providers or between software applications from different vendors will benefit from HL7 integration.

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Why do I need a HL7 Integrator Expert?

While HL7 may sound very simple, HL7 integration involves a number of challenges for software vendors and healthcare organizations.

Properly implemented HL7 interfaces can reduce duplicate data entry and enhance end user workflow. But, as with any new technology, the way HL7 interfaces are implemented may dictate the success of the technology.

Fortunately, proper implementation can limit the risk of failed HL7 work efforts, resulting in successful project outcomes. 

HL7 Integrator Experts for the win

Partner up with an HL7 Integrator Expert to help your organization avoid a number of poor HL7 outcomes, including incorrect tracking of patients throughout their stays, results not presenting for the correct patient, data loss, and results presenting on an incorrect patient record.

Coupling strong HL7 Integrator Experts along with coordinated testing can provide successful outcomes for an implementation.

What are some HL7 Integration challenges?

HL7 integration, while highly beneficial, can present several challenges that healthcare organizations and IT teams need to address. Here are some common HL7 integration challenges and how HL7 Integration Experts can help you overcome them.

1. Integration is crucial for applications to be viable.

Regardless of how useful an application may be, if it requires clinicians and healthcare experts to duplicate their efforts, they simply will not use it - since a counterproductive application will not fit into their workflow.

It’s simply not practical or efficient. We all know that healthcare experts are already under pressure to do more in less time.

HL7 Integration Experts will allow for applications to be readily accessible to clinicians and eliminate the need for data duplication. 

2. HL7 implementation slows cycles and makes integration both time-consuming and costly.

HL7 implementation requires significant resources dedicated to integration development. Not to mention, replacing or adding interfaces may impact every application that interfaces with the updated app – potentially impacting the entire system.

Every endpoint for the updated app must be either created or changed to facilitate communication, and every software vendor with interfaces attached to the app must replace or modify their endpoints, as well.

HL7 Integration Experts will assist with implementing HL7 interfaces so that all communications between interfaces are seamless.. 

3. Poor HL7 data semantics leaves the door open to misinterpretation.

In today’s complex healthcare industry, it is crucial for applications not only to understand data values, but also understand what these values mean.

To avoid misinterpretation, HL7 interfaces must communicate their interpretation of the HL7 interface standard used.

For example:

  • Does a value of “NA” mean “No Allergies” or “Not Applicable”?

These type of data misinterpretations, and the overall quality of data, may have serious implications for patient care delivery.

HL7 Integration Experts will ensure that all applications communicate with their interpretation of the HL7 interfaces used.

4. Security and privacy are prime concerns with HL7 Interfaces and patient data.

HL7 interfaces involve the exchange of sensitive patient data, making data security and privacy a paramount concern for healthcare organizations. The protection of patient information in HL7 interfaces requires a comprehensive approach that encompasses secure transmission, encryption, access control, regulatory compliance such as HIPAA, and ongoing monitoring. Ensuring the security of HL7 interfaces requires multiple layers of safeguards.

As with all valuable data, especially patient sensitive data, it's crucial to take proactive steps to prevent data loss and have backup and disaster plan in place.

5. HL7 interfaces require constant maintenance and upgrades.

HL7 interfaces, like any other technology, require regular maintenance, updates, and occasional upgrades to ensure their optimal performance and compatibility with evolving healthcare systems and standards. However, managing and supporting multiple interfaces while handling changes can present significant challenges for healthcare organizations.

Regular monitoring and proactive maintenance of HL7 interfaces are crucial to identify potential issues, performance bottlenecks, or compatibility conflicts. Timely response to interface-related issues, including troubleshooting, bug fixes, and performance optimizations, helps ensure the reliability and stability of HL7 interfaces.

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What HL7 Integration Services Does CITE Tech Offer?

At CITE Technology, we specialize in healthcare IT managed services. Our experience in EMR, RIS, PACS and billing integrations is extensive. Our experts have experience in Mirth, Corepoint, and others.

We also offer top-of-the-line medical services by assisting with:

    • RIS/PACS solutions consulting   
    • HL7 interfacing configuration, monitoring and support
    • DICOM image connectivity, security, storage solutions, backup, etc
    • Workflow and work listing for Radiology Groups
    • Easy workflow environment for all your EMR needs
    • Tech support for immediate solutions
    • Complete data backup and recovery
    • Cybersecurity protection of data
    • Immutable backups
    • and more!

Let us develop and manage your integrations between systems to allow for the smoothest transitions possible.  Want to learn more about cybersecurity in healthcare? Check out our download for 10 Tips for Healthcare Cybersecurity

Need An Expert in HL7 Integration?

HL7 interfaces play a vital role in achieving seamless interoperability and efficient data exchange within the healthcare industry. By implementing HL7 standards and leveraging the appropriate interface types, healthcare organizations can streamline workflows, improve care coordination, and enhance patient outcomes. Embracing HL7 interfaces paves the way for a more connected and patient-centric healthcare ecosystem. Let us help you with your HL7 Integration.

Cite Technology Solutions strives to provide the very best in managed IT services and security solutions. We offer comprehensive IT solutions for small and mid-sized organizations with complex needs as well as. 

Contact us today to see how we can help with your healthcare needs and keep your systems running as smooth as the services that your business offers.

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About CITE Technology

New Logo - Full Color (2)Cite Technology Solutions strives to provide the very best in IT solutions.  From System Administration to Medical Imaging applications our team of integrators provides solutions.

We provide comprehensive IT solutions for small and mid-sized organizations with complex needs. Offering 24/7 Tech Support, Remote Support and Cloud Storage. We specialize in data management, VOIP, medical imaging, HL7 interfacing, and HIPAA compliance. Whether its remote access or at home, our team of IT Experts can assist.


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