Radiology Information System (RIS), Lab Information System (LIS), Hospital Information System (HIS), Electronic Health Record (EHR), and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) all interact in various languages with one another. The need for a common language among applications is driven by the growing number of healthcare applications and the need for a standardised electronic health record. In 1987, HL7 was implemented as a single, scalable, and universal communication norm to address this issue. The value and steps involved in a good HL7 data integration.
HL7 stands for Health Level Seven.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that regulates health insurance.
Radiology Information System (RIS) is an acronym for “radiology information system.”
LIS stands for Laboratory Information System.
HIS (Hospital Information System) is an acronym for Hospital Information System.
EHR stands for “Electronic Health Record.”
EMR stands for “Electronic Medical Record.”
RIM (Reference Information Model) is an acronym for “Reference Information Model.”
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the creation of international standards.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a non-profit organisation that sets standards for the United States.
FIFO stands for “First In, First Out.”
Clinical Document Architecture (CDA)
XML – Extensible Markup Language CCR – Continuity of Care
WHAT IS HL7 AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
HL7 is a universal, user-friendly standard that allows two or more healthcare applications to communicate with one another. The health-related data, such as patient records and billing information, will be sent in the form of one or more HL7 messages.
Since it does not consider any particular aspect to be unique, the HL7 interoperability norm is known as the nonstandard standard. As a result, there is no standard business or clinical model for clinical interaction.
Clinical application analysts, integration specialists, application programmers, and system analysts are all needed for HL7 growth.
OBJECTIVES: The HL7 development team envisions a future where everyone can safely access and use the appropriate health data when and where they need it. To accomplish this, the workflow between healthcare software applications and various suppliers should be streamlined to improve the quality, accuracy, expense, and productivity of healthcare providers.
Develop transparent health-care knowledge requirements for sharing between computer applications to improve patient care.
Create an HL7 interoperability standards methodology based on the HL7 Reference Information Model (RIM).
Educate the healthcare industry, policymakers, and the general public about the advantages of standardising healthcare data.
HL7 International Affiliate organisations promote the use of HL7 interoperability specifications around the world.
Encourage domain experts from healthcare industry stakeholder organisations to join HL7 to help improve healthcare knowledge standards in their field.
To encourage the use of compatible standards, collaborate with other standards development organisations and national and international sanctioning bodies (e.g., ANSI and ISO).
Collaborate with users of healthcare information technology to ensure that HL7 standards are up to date and meet real-world needs.
SOLUTIONS FOR HEALTHCARE INTEGRATION
Overview of Healthcare Convergence
Sending application’s export endpoint
Receiving programme – Import endpoint
Moving data between two endpoints is a methodology.
Handling Queued Messages – Methodology
Sorting the message flow is a methodology.
To send and receive patient data, each healthcare application must be available. For easy exchange, there are some set rules for what to accept and give. Each application vendor strictly controls this access to ensure data integrity within their application.
Requirements for Healthcare Integration
First in, first out (FIFO): Clinical data must be exchanged in FIFO order. The first HL7 message that is received is also the first HL7 message that is sent.
Since HL7 is basically a medium for negotiation, the interface solution must be versatile enough to deal with HL7 V2.3.1, V2.4, V2.5, and other versions. It should be able to send a single message to several applications in different versions.
Integration of External Applications and Providers: Integration in the real world occurs between multiple applications in multiple locations. Since healthcare interface traffic can be very heavy, having a good traffic director in the centre is crucial. Otherwise, the output would be delayed, resulting in expensive implementations, programme changes, and so on. Each application in the integration path should be able to send and/or receive data in an HL7 format, if possible.
Short Implementation Cycle: The interface configuration workflow should be simple, logical, and GUI-based. Each application or website does not require the developer’s presence.
Scalable: As time goes by, the number of interfaces can increase. An interface solution must also be able to evolve in response to business demands.
Other Clinical Standards: The interface solution should be able to accommodate other clinical standards such as the Clinical Document Architecture (CDA), Continuity of Care (CCR), and XML in addition to HL7.
Interface Testing & Maintenance Ease: It’s critical to provide high-quality interfaces. As a result, a few testing functions should be included in the interface solution, such as conformance screening, message unit testing, and communication testing.
Monitoring and Management Ease: To keep customer service costs down, interface implementations should be simple to monitor and resolution resources should be readily available to correct any upcoming errors.
INTEGRATION PROTOCOLS FOR HIPAA AND HL7
In terms of reliability, protection, and enforcement, data sharing between clinical and financial systems is often a difficult task. That is where the significance of HL7 and HIPAA comes into play.
HL7 is a standard for exchanging clinical data between healthcare applications from various vendors. In 1966, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) was enacted to modernise healthcare transactions and protect patients’ privacy rights.
Within the enterprise, such as hospitals, HL7 would be caused by events such as patient admission and billing. HIPAA-compliant EDI-X12 transactions can be shared between businesses such as hospitals and insurance firms. Certain HIPAA EDI-X12 transactions also use HL7.
For example, once a patient is admitted to the hospital, the Patient Administration System (PAS) keeps track of their information. If other systems, such as Pharmacy Systems, need information about this patient, an HL7 message is sent to the appropriate hospital systems.
The hospital and the insurance provider then exchange HIPAA EDI-X12 messages when the hospital sends a claim for reimbursement to another enterprise, such as an insurance company. These HIPAA EDI-X12 messages can also include a patient-specific HL7 message.
AVAILABLE INTEGRATION OPTIONS
A hospital, for example, has a large number of HL7-enabled applications. These applications can interact with one another to minimise data entry time and improve the facility’s overall performance.
The following items are included in the construction of an HL7 interface:
- The submitting application’s export endpoint
- The receiving application’s import endpoint
- A means of transporting data between the two endpoints.
Effective contact can be accomplished in one ways:
Point-to-point communication, in which each pair of applications interacts independently of the others. Data is sent from system A to system B via an interface between the two systems (FIFO). Implementing messaging is both costly and time-consuming. As a result, it’s possible that it wouldn’t perform well for a vendor.