HL7 Integration Challenges

HL7 Integration Challenges

A single entity within the healthcare industry determines the standards for most clinical data. HL7 was established in 1987 to facilitate the interchange and retrieval of electronic health information. Currently, the association has over 1,600 members from over 50 countries, including healthcare providers, government officials, payers, suppliers, and other stakeholders in the healthcare business.

Creating a new HL7 standard, transferring that standard to software developers, and putting that standard into production software is lengthy and intricate. Diverse health systems have adopted various versions and kinds of standards, and even within the same version, implementation varies considerably. This article discusses the issues associated with HL7.

Integration of HL7

HL7 integration refers to the execution of data so that either the provider or software system can comprehend the data at the receiving end. HL7 integration presents various hurdles for healthcare providers and software manufacturers, despite the seeming simplicity of the connection procedure. Discuss in-depth the obstacles to HL7 integration for healthcare providers and software companies.

Unique Challenges in HL7 Standards

Written in a step-by-step format, the process seems straightforward, but a closer examination reveals that it incorporates intricacies and obstacles specific to healthcare standards. This variation results from HL7’s original pre-World Wide Web usage as an interchange standard between various suppliers inside the same data centre managed by the same IT personnel at a health institution. Listed here are the problems presented by HL7.

HL7 Challenges

  1. Integration is essential for the viability of an application.

Clinicians will not exit the EHR stage, log in to an irrelevant framework, and copy EHR-held information. Healthcare practitioners face several challenges and demands to efficiently manage their practices, which will not boost their productivity. No matter how beneficial the program may be, if it needs them to replicate their work, they will not utilize it, and it will not fit into their workflow.

Then, how should an application be constructed? What characteristics do physicians genuinely anticipate an application to possess? An efficient application must be readily available to physicians and have the capacity to remove the requirement for data duplication. IT departments are often overburdened, causing organizations to wait months (or years) for IT to build the necessary interfaces for these integrations.

  1. There are significant differences in how suppliers execute HL7 concepts

The significant shift in HL7 implementation slows cycles and increases the cost and duration of integration. It entails maintaining an alternative code base and integration points for each EHR. In addition, it requires a substantial number of resources, particularly for integration development. Moreover, which reduces the number of resources available for other demands, such as additions to features and functionality.

Similarly, altering or adding interfaces affects any program that interacts with the updated/refreshed application and the whole framework. To facilitate communication, each endpoint for the revised application must be created or modified, and each vendor whose interfaces are connected to the application must similarly replace or modify their endpoints.

  1. Improved integration for enhanced app development

A lack of centralized monitoring necessitates more time and resources for monitoring. Issues may go undiscovered until they become a full-fledged emergency, and even then, it might be challenging to identify their root cause. There is a lack of crucial, framework-wide data that can be accessed optimally. Hence there is no convincing way to assess the overall stress on a framework. This makes it challenging to anticipate resource requirements, such as server size, network connectivity, and support personnel. More immediate information and read-write capabilities are urgently needed.

  1. Incorrect HL7 data semantics leads to distortion

In today’s modern healthcare environment, it is essential that apps not only comprehend the data values but also what those values truly signify.

To minimize misunderstanding, HL7 interfaces must accurately express their interpretation of the employed HL7 interface standard. For instance, the answer “NA” may represent “No Allergies” or “Not Applicable. This value-based misunderstanding and the overall data quality have significant consequences on the delivery of patient care. As today’s modern healthcare systems become more regional and include various patient touchpoints, data integration becomes more crucial.

  1. The transition to a new EHR may result in the loss of inherited data

In the current market, transitioning to a new EHR presents a significant barrier for healthcare businesses. Some healthcare providers maintain several EHRs, requiring clinicians to log in to different platforms or, regrettably, paper records. While some healthcare providers elect to transfer all old data to the new EHR system, one organization chooses not to. In addition, converting some types of data, such as photos, may not be feasible, and the converted data may have mistakes. Said, migration incurs technical expenses, and the process is sometimes excessively protracted.

Final Remarks

These are the five major obstacles to HL7 integration in the healthcare business. However, the route to HL7 integration success is fraught with obstacles, but API solutions such as Integrate make true interoperability accessible to software manufacturers and healthcare institutions.

To know more about healthcare integration consider connecting with healthcare app development company!

Also read: hl7 vs fhir

Written by:

Muzammil K

Muzammil K is the Marketing Manager at Aalpha Information Systems, where he leads marketing efforts to drive business growth. With a passion for marketing strategy and a commitment to results, he's dedicated to helping the company succeed in the ever-changing digital landscape.

Muzammil K is the Marketing Manager at Aalpha Information Systems, where he leads marketing efforts to drive business growth. With a passion for marketing strategy and a commitment to results, he's dedicated to helping the company succeed in the ever-changing digital landscape.