HL7 Integrations

Securely and efficiently exchange healthcare data.

What is HL7?

HL7, or Health-Level-7 (developed by Health Level Seven International), is an internationally accepted set of standards that serve as a medium to receive, exchange, manage and retrieve digital information transferred between different software applications used by healthcare providers. In short, HL7 is a sophisticated framework that allows various healthcare data software solutions to integrate with each other and interpret data. The HL7 standards consist of a number of flexible guidelines and methodologies with which various healthcare systems use to communicate with one another. These guidelines and data standards ensure that data exchange rules and common health data definitions relating to clinical documentation, EHR and personal health records, quality reporting, and prescription product labeling remain consistent across systems.

Why does the healthcare industry use HL7?

Interoperability: Different kinds of healthcare systems use different applications that were programmed in different languages and that provide different functionality. For example, hospitals use complex, customized systems while general practitioners usually use out-of-the-box practice management software. Medical research institutes may use software that is part of a larger network like a university. These types of institutions often need to exchange patient data. HL7 enables healthcare organizations to create uniform data that anyone with authorization can retrieve, using their own systems.
Automated Workflows: Implementing an electronic health records (EHR) system is costly. HL7 helps to optimize the way data is exchanged between applications and devices and it suggests ways to automate standard workflows, which reduces operational and labor costs.
Global Standard: HL7 is an internationally accepted industry standard for data exchange in healthcare. It is platform and technology independent.
Customizable: HL7 has been called a nonstandard standard because the framework allows some customization, for example the use of optional fields and the ability to add message segments. Healthcare organizations build and use disparate applications according to their unique requirements. HL7 allows developers to create interfaces for data exchange between different healthcare organizations instead of making changes to their software.
Public Health Collaboration: HL7 enables the sharing of public health information. HL7 has the potential to be used in times of national health crises, like the COVID-19 pandemic, to foster collaboration between government institutions and private healthcare companies and to share medical research data globally.

Who uses HL7?

HL7 is supported by more than 1600 members from over 50 countries, including 500+ corporate members representing healthcare providers, government stakeholders, payers, pharmaceutical companies, vendors/ suppliers, and consulting firms.  In the United States, 90-percent of medical institutions use HL7.

What are the benefits of an HL7 interface for healthcare providers?

Improved Clinical Efficiency: Improved communication between different medical organizations allows for the accumulation of more valuable data that can be leveraged to improve the quality and efficiency of a patient’s care. HL7 enables faster and smoother data exchange which allows clinicians to receive up-to-date information and get a wider clinical perspective as more patient records are available for access.
Elimination of Administrative Errors: Through HL7, clinicians have access to relevant information from multiple sources and can be sure that all data is synchronized and relevant. With a reduced need for requesting and filling out information manually, HL7 standards save time and ensure higher accuracy when dealing with patient records.
Opportunities for New Technology: Apart from seamless data transmission between existing systems used by particular medical institutions, the HL7 protocol also opens more opportunities to experiment with other software solutions. This not only creates a wider pool to choose from but also enables flexibility in terms of tech solutions for healthcare companies.