Health Level Seven International (HL7) is a group of defined standards and formats for the development and exchange of electronic health records (EHRs). HL7 and its framework specify how information (health data) is communicated and packaged from one system or application to another.
The communication and packaging of data are specifically important when medical professionals need to access patient health information from another system, department, or organization. Medical data can be exchanged between EHRs and clinical databases, ensuring there is a decreased risk of misinterpretation and ambiguity by healthcare providers.
HL7 provides a constant standard in the data types, language, and structure that is required for smooth integration between different systems. HL7 standards are important to understand in the healthcare industry as they are the bridge between advancing information technology and modern healthcare services.