HL7 – Health Level 7 is a code of conduct and platform that enables healthcare providers to share data digitally. Considering we are entering a computerized time with constant progression, HL7 can maintain its integrity and desirability to healthcare providers by offering updated versions of itself. It is maintained by the healthcare standard organization Health Level Seven International.
What makes HL7 the standard for operating procedures is its ability to remain with the times. During times of crisis such as with the Covid-19 pandemic, it was used as a forum between Government and healthcare providers. It was utilized to share health data globally for medical research.
Below we provide a bullet list of top HL7 benefits, further identifying it as the standard for healthcare providers
Benefits of HL7
HL7 aspires to the constant improvement of data sharing between healthcare providers. Some of its main functions are to preserve demographic information, collect information from outside sources for the medical community, and manage its own operating procedures.
This improvement in data sharing is important as not only does it make accessing records easier for practitioners, allowing them to exert more focused responses to patient requirements, but it reduces costs by it being a convenient and accessible service for its worldwide users.
HL7 is not a modem or server, it is a guidebook for the framework of an efficient digital system.
It recognizes that all healthcare facilities are different but requires a standardized method of information creation, storage, and sharing.
Within its name HL7, they symbolize the International Standards Organisation’s (ISO) communications model. These model factors are physical (connection), data link (controls between operators), Network (system routes), transport (communication control), session (problem handling), presentation (information conversion), and application (different service provider).
Data Protection Regulation
There are many important factors involved in data sharing which HL7 is able to capture, making them GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation compliant.
- HL7 has effective security and privacy standards supporting GDPR guideline implementation.
- Providers using HL7 privacy and security standards are helped in achieving GDPR compliance.
- They clearly identify what the protective measures are to keep patient data secure, making HL7 a confident platform to use.
- Data can be kept in one location rather than there being different records on different systems for the same person. This helps information remain available and present rather than lost.
The platform has not been created with one organization in mind.
- HL7 does not use a specific format or dictation on how data is stored; it can be adapted to the users’ requirements making it more accessible.
- It’s less likely to become outdated due to its operating procedure updates, so the platform sustains its relevance.
- Its regulating organization can input a wide range of expertise. It is staffed by a large number of individuals from over 50 countries and has over 500 corporate members from a variety of employment backgrounds.
- Not only can the system be used for patient records, but it can also be used for staff management. Data can be collected on hours worked by healthcare workers. This data can be added to HL7 for the production of fair-shift rotas.
- Patients themselves can use HL7 and receive a patient access portal. This allows patients the ability to access their own records. They can also receive reminders and the option to schedule their own appointments.
- It can be operated via nearly all IT systems.
- It’s adaptable and can be merged with other software solutions leaving them open to new technology opportunities.
- The system is easy to adopt so its benefits are quicker to see.
HL7’s purpose is to have a system that holds and shares data that can be used by any practitioner who holds authorization.
- It’s cost-effective. It’s more affordable using one large database for sharing data that reaches not only within the walls of the user’s own establishment but to other establishments too.
- It makes communication between practitioners simpler and easier.
- It’s accessible and when required, can make health care records that can be added to the national health information network.
- Although HL7 can be formatted differently, the data collected becomes uniform. This uniformity means that when the data is shared, it doesn’t lose its readability, it will match the record style that the receiving practitioner is already using and be understood.
- Messages can be created automatically depending on types of real-life events and be submitted, and then received, between servers, further improving quick and efficient data flows.
- HL7 can be teamed up with translating services such as Iguana, meaning that information can be shared regardless of its language.
HL7 always works in the best interests of patients and service users of practitioners.
- The interoperability of this system increases the fecundity of healthcare professionals due to the ease of data creation and sharing. This accessibility of data makes the improvement of services more effective; operators can view data from a wider group of people increasing its result variety and thus obtaining a more extensive range of information.
- The occurrence of human error is less likely due to records not being completed by hand and then passed through the hands of different administrative staff. This is better for the patient who will have more accurate records.
- Practitioners can access data quickly. When a patient needs a medical decision, waiting times are reduced due to the minimization of delays between multiple system use. This also means that the spare time can be put back into patient care.
- It can support patients around the world as the standards can be used in almost all healthcare systems.
HL7 is at the forefront of data sharing. It’s an operating procedure that can be supported on systems around the world, promotes effective research by providing better data, and encourages data protection compliance by having clear security measures.
The flexibility that HL7 offers make it the standard for information transfers as it can be adapted and utilized by how it’s required by its users. System version updates ensure the relevance, and quality of data can be achieved by its accessibility for all, rather than there is the requirement for data recording between multiple hands before it’s added to client records.
(Are you interested in building digital health products? Visit Wi4 for guidance on how you can do this)