What is Health Level 7 (HL7)?

Health Level 7
April 23, 2013

Posted by MedbillingExperts / 0 Comment

HL7 is a standard development organization with more than 20 years of history in the international arena. The ultimate goal of the organization is the integration of clinical and administrative data, setting standards for the organization of electronic healthcare data.

How is HL7 organized?

The overall organized is managed by a Board of Directors. On that board, there are eight elected positions and three appointed positions. Together, these directors work to define standard protocols for HL7. Every time the standards are updated, the new information is associated with a new “version”. The organization takes a bottom-up approach by assessing needs at the industry level and incorporating those into improved standards and means of communication.

HL7 uses a bottom up approach to incorporate the current pressing needs of healthcare centers into worldwide standards for transmission of information

Why Should We Use HL7?

There are many different kinds of healthcare standards, but most of these other systems are narrowed in to a particular department within healthcare. HL7, on the other hand, is geared towards the interface requirements of the healthcare industry at large. HL7’s board is constantly re-evaluating current approaches and developing new protocols, keeping the collection and sharing of data as aligned as possible with the needs of the industry.

HL7’s board is forward-thinking and motivated by providing the best system possible

How does the HL7 Protocol Work?

HL7 protocol was created by the HL7 organization, making it much easier for healthcare centers to share critical data. Some of the ways that the protocol enables this process is through standardized grammar and vocabulary. By making the information readable in a common format, this eliminates the need for converting information. Some other standards that make up HL7 include claims attachments, structured product labeling, version 3 rules, clinical document architecture, and visual integration.

Standard vocabulary and grammar reduce the need for information conversion

HL7 Today

There are affiliate organizations for HL7 established in over 40 countries. Hospitals around the world all might use different software and systems to communicate information like billing data or patient medical records. In order to have a common language and standard, HL7 affiliate organizations make use of the guidelines established by HL7. These standards help to promote information sharing both between and outside the walls of hospitals.

In an increasingly globalized society and healthcare industry, there is an increased need for hospitals to share information between one another. When this information is shared in a non-standard format, it’s difficult to parse out the data and make sense of common interests and issues. HL7 makes it possible for the healthcare centers to communicate data in the same format, improving the ability for making data-driven decisions.

HL7 affiliate organizations are established in many countries around the world

HL7 offers many benefits to their affiliate organizations. The ability to transmit data for increased information sharing is made easier through common standards and reducing the administrative workload (such as that required by information conversion). Healthcare centers can now more easily and quickly receive and interpret data.

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