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WHAT IS HL7 AND WHAT DO THE SPECIFICATIONS MEAN?

“An HL7 message profile (or HL7 specification) is a clear description of one or more standard HL7 messages that have been thoroughly examined for a specific use case. It imposes a collection of strict restrictions … Read More

“An HL7 message profile (or HL7 specification) is a clear description of one or more standard HL7 messages that have been thoroughly examined for a specific use case. It imposes a collection of strict restrictions on one or more regular HL7 messages.”

In other words, the data and messages that an interface sends and/or receives are defined by HL7 specifications or profiles. The definition must be concise and straightforward enough to serve as a collection of specifications. Each inbound and outbound interface in an integration project requires a specification. You’ll spend a lot of time trying to find out what’s going on without the specification.

HL7, or Health Level Seven, is a set of international standards for transferring clinical and administrative data between software applications used by different healthcare providers. The framework layer, also known as “layer 7” in the OSI model, is the subject of these specifications. Health Level Seven International, an international standards body, develops the HL7 standards, which are then implemented by other standards-setting organizations such as the American National Standards Institute and the International Organization for Standardization.

Many different computer systems are used in hospitals and other healthcare service organization’s for anything from billing records to patient monitoring. When they receive new information or want to retrieve information, both of these systems can communicate with each other (or “interface”), but not all of them do.

 

HL7 International establishes a set of flexible standards, guidelines, and methodologies for interoperability among healthcare systems. These guidelines, also known as data standards, are a collection of rules that allow data to be exchanged and processed in a consistent and uniform manner. These data requirements are designed to make it simple for healthcare organisations to exchange clinical data. This willingness to share knowledge should theoretically help to reduce the propensity for medical care to be geographically segregated and highly variable. 1st

The following are the key principles that HL7 International considers to be its primary standards – those that are most widely used and implemented:Version 2.x Messaging Standard – a health and medical transaction interoperability specification.Version 3 Messaging Standard – a health and medical transaction interoperability specificationContinuity of Care Document (CCD) – a US specification for the sharing of medical summaries, based on CDA. Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) – an exchange model for clinical records, based on HL7 Version 3.

HL7 Version 3 Clinical Context Object Workgroup (CCOW) – an interoperability specification for the visual integration of user applications. Structured Product Labeling (SPL) – the published information that comes with a drug, based on HL7 Version 3 Clinical Context Object Workgroup (CCOW) – an interoperability specification for the visual integration of user applications.

The following are some of the other HL7 standards/methodologies:

  • FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) is a resource sharing standard.
  • As a Medical Logic Module, Arden Syntax is a grammar for describing medical conditions and recommendations (MLM)
  • Accusations Attachments are a type of standard healthcare attachment that can be used to add value to another healthcare transaction.

A structured definition of health and medical functions sought for or available in such software applications is the Functional Specification of Electronic Health Record (EHR) / Personal Health Record (PHR) systems.

Segments (lines) and one-character delimiters are used in a non-XML encoding syntax for messages. [5] The composite delimiter separates segments into composites (fields). Sub-composites (components) can be separated by the sub-composite delimiter in a composite, and sub-composites can be separated by the sub-sub-composite delimiter in a sub-composites. The section separator is a carriage return, the field separator is a vertical bar or pipe (|), the part separator is a caret, the subcomponent separator is an ampersand (&), and the default truncation separator is a number sign (#). The default repetition separator is the tilde (). The segment class is identified by a three-character string at the start of each segment. Each message section contains information from a single category. MSH is the first section of a message, and it contains a field that defines the message type. The expected segment types in the message are determined by the message type. [6] The segment grammar notation used in the HL7 standards specifies the segment types used in a specific message form.

An admission message like the one below is an example. MSH stands for “header section,” PID stands for “patient identity,” PV1 stands for “patient visit details,” and so on. The patient’s name is the sixth field in the PID chapter, and it is mentioned in the following order: family name, given name, second names (or their initials), suffix, etc. More fields for additional patient details are available in the section depending on the HL7 V2.x standard edition.

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