In the healthcare industry, HL7 is a frequently used phrase that promotes a framework to work alongside applications such as the electronic health information. These are the most widely used standards process that has a significant effect on usability and workflow.
HL7 Integration Engine
An HL7 integration engine also known as interface engine is built especially for the healthcare sector that connects legacy systems in the form of a standard messaging protocol.
Usually, hospitals and other healthcare institutions use different systems and have multiple aspects of services. This may often cause difficulty in communicating with each other. HL7 messaging services solve this problem by providing a standard process for integrating, exchanging, sharing or recovering the information required from the records.
An HL7 interface provides additional control, saves money and time in a medical environment. An interfaced environment connects independent healthcare applications in clinics or hospitals by an HL7 certified resource. Data sources and processes can be displayed as a visual solution that enables for robust information to be transferred between software and legacy applications.
Types of HL7 Messaging Services
There are different versions of HL7 messaging services under which the HL7 V2.3 or HL7 V2.3.1 family are the most commonly used and the newer releases still represent a minute portion of real world interfaces. However, HL7 V3 has been released to the clinical community and is available for use. Worldwide healthcare issues and HL7 integration between separate systems can be looked at using the latest version. There are more advantages of using HL7 V3 such as fewer message options, well-defined application roles and consistency across the whole standard and more.
Using an HL7 integration engine would help healthcare organizations leverage potential benefits of legacy information systems that are already existent. This can take place without having to re-invest heavily in new technologies, reduce costs or expand life and efficiency of current systems. Moreover, there is a possibility to utilize the opportunity to connect systems that are outside of the healthcare bracket such as outsourced services like radiology. Let’s take a look at few ways this is possible:
There is greater independence to design and implement new interfaces to providers and applications using HL7 interface engine. Providers gain control over the interfaces thereby decreasing the reliability on third party application vendors for every interface requirement. You can choose to have one integrated consultant to handle your entire project without ever having to involve a third party.
- Ease of Management
HL7 messaging services allow keeping your customer support costs at an all time low. Apart from that, interface implementations will become easier to manage. Resolution tools will be readily available for easy fixes. Providers can, therefore, track the uptime of critical interfaces and resolve these issues proactively. The importance for storing message logs will amplify in case the past messages have to be reviewed or a message has to be re-sent.
HL7 integration is an essential framework that addresses varying requirements that are required for negotiation. The interface solution must be able to work with different applications and handle essential data elements that may be needed.
- Short cycle time
Hospitals, laboratories and even imaging centers have a competitive advantage in delivering EMR requirements quickly. Using an HL7 integration engine would allow the interface deployment and development cycle to drastically decrease to one-two weeks from six-to-twelve months. This is an added advantage as the implementation generally comes under a provider’s time schedule.
The demand in the electronic exchange of patient data and the increasing EMR adoption is lighting the path for the growth in the number of interfaces. Through HL7 integration practices can ensure that the solution provided is able to grow along with the market demand.
- Workflow integration
An interface engine can improve and streamline workflow by implementing business process rules among external referrals and physician community within the organization.