Guide to the Healthcare Software

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The recent updates in the healthcare software industry is that of the EHRs or Electronic Health Records, as a result of constant improvement and upgradation in techniques and digitalization everywhere. From shopping to movies, banking, dining digitalization is spreading its wings everywhere and health care industry is also a part of the movement. EHR stands as the most popular due to its several benefits. But did you know the baselines on which these software has been built or operates? It is necessary to build these software against certain protocols or standards so that the patients or the medical units incorporating the same are able to use it with proper guidance and technological support. HL7 standards are set up mainly for the EHRs, for successful exchanging of the patient’s clinical data from one medical unit to another and for setting up the language for the software and a smooth and seamless integration among the codes and system interaction. These HL7 standards help in providing the medical practitioner’s decision and action along with management, delivery, and evaluation of health services which make it widely used in the world in the recent days and is also getting increasingly incorporated in many of the medical units. Any healthcare software company is supposed to abide by the HL7 rules and standards to sustain the digital health initiative.

History of HL7 Decoded - It was founded in 1987 by members from about 50 countries and was accredited by American National Standards Institute in 1994 by a non-profit organisations. The standardized instructions were built with the help of a multi-year balloting system where each member would vote and comment in successive balloting rounds as long as the until negative comments get eliminated and draft standards would continue being set up for being agreed upon. The “7” in HL7 stands for Layer 7 in Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model, which is the final application layer in the communication model the International Organization for Standardization developed for OSI.

In May 2016, the HL7 Governance and Operations Manual (GOM) has been updated to rename Standards for Trial Use. Before this, the phrase was for the same was "Draft Standards for Trial Use”. As a result, both DSTU and STU names show up in the list of Trial Use Standards.

Versions – HL7 Messaging standard version 2.7 is recommended by specialists while it is also known as Version 2.7, V2, V27 and V2.7. About 95% of US healthcare organisations and more than 35 countries in the world use V2.x.

Benefits – The several benefits of HL7 messaging are captured, as below:

  • It makes data transfer safer with password protection.
  • These constitute the basic tools and structure that would shape up the infrastructure and technology that should be considered while implementing HL7 standards and hence manage them.
  • It supports almost every interface of health care software used globally.
  • It helps in reducing implementation costs as it comes with the guidelines for installing and implementing the software tool along with its in built features of reporting, billing, graphical representation etc.

HL7 messaging standard helps in transferring the data across the medical units which means smooth operation of the digital outcome by the healthcare software company in the market. It supports the patient care system and departmental data transfer in a single or across multiple medical units.