Considering hiring an HL7 integration expert for your healthcare practice or organization?

Health Level Seven or HL7 is a message standard with a framework for transferring data between healthcare providers and software applications created by different vendors. HL7 integration is a term used to refer to the processes and software solutions that enhance the sending, receiving, and interpretation of data between two software systems.

An HL7 integration expert is usually needed to solve the interoperability challenges faced by health care organizations that have HL7-enabled applications.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of working with an HL7 integration expert.

1. Increase the Viability of Existing Applications

Clinicians are already under great pressure because they need to do more record-keeping and enter a large volume of data within a short time. So, they aren’t usually willing to leave their EHR platform and enter the same data a second time into another software.

That’s why for EHRs to be viable and deliver the desired reduction in costs, they must be able to integrate seamlessly with other software such as laboratory information systems, radiology information systems, practice management, and billing software. Instead of relying on your in-house IT team to build your interfaces, you can work with an integration expert who has already built the type of interface you need.

2. Develop a Robust Interface Engine

The significant variance in most vendors’ HL7 implementation usually makes integration expensive and time-consuming. Providers have to dedicate a significant amount of resources to integration development. Also, adding new interfaces or modifying existing applications can affect the functionality and interoperability of all the apps used in the organization. Several endpoints will be affected and it could lead to a significant loss of productivity.

3. Avoid Costly Misinterpretations

Due to the volume and complexity of data produced daily in the healthcare industry, applications that use the data must be able to interpret it correctly. The high level of flexibility in the HL7 standard also requires HL7 enabled software to communicate the interpretation of HL7 standard being used to prevent misinterpretation. For example, does a value of “4” mean that a person drinks alcohol on one system or does it mean that the patient has been an alcoholic and is now in rehabilitation? Due to the rapid movement of data among different providers and the multiple patient touchpoints, correct data interpretation is absolutely essential.

4. Prevent Data Loss Between Old, Current, and Future Applications

During migration to a new EHR, a poorly designed HL7 interface can cause the loss of legacy data. While some organizations decide to prevent this loss by asking clinicians to log in to multiple systems, this can reduce productivity and create more inefficiency.

An experienced interface developer can help you plan and prioritize data movement from one EHR to another. For instance, the most important data such as diagnoses, medication, allergies, and treatment notes are usually moved over first. Then, subsequent data movement can include transferring images and lab results, which are used less often by clinicians.

5. Effectively Use APIs

Using an HL7 integration engine can lead to certain challenges, especially when you need to have real-time access to data analytics. Your integration specialist can help you overcome this challenge through the use of APIs. Effectively using REST APIs permits data exchanges across any EHR platform without compromising private health information. It supports the seamless exchange of data between EHRs, LIS, RIS, and administrative applications.

Trust the Services of an HL7 Integration Expert

Contact us now for a free consultation on interoperability or interface design in your organization. Lifepoint has successfully completed over 20,000 projects since 1999.