The term “interoperability” in healthcare refers to the ability of different medical systems and devices to communicate with each other. This includes everything from electronic health records (EHRs) to medical devices such as pacemakers. In theory, interoperability should make it easier for healthcare providers to share information and work together to provide better care for patients. However, in practice, there are several challenges that can prevent interoperability from working as intended. One major challenge is that different healthcare organizations often use different EHR systems, which can make it difficult to share information. Another challenge is that some older medical devices may not be compatible with newer systems. Finally, there can be a lack of standardization among different healthcare organizations in terms of how they store and format data. As a result, interoperability is often more difficult to achieve than it should be.
HL7 is a standards-developing organization that creates messaging standards for the exchange of clinical and administrative health information. While HL7 does not specifically define an application programming interface (API), the organization has published a set of abstract interface definitions that could be used to build an API. Therefore, it is possible to create an HL7-compliant API, but there is no standard HL7 API that all systems must use. This flexibility allows developers to choose the best approach for integrating with other systems, but it also means that there is no guaranteed compatibility between different HL7 APIs.