Since the late 1950s, technology has been improving like the clappers. Digital solutions are making their way into every industry. These technological systems are replacing manual procedures and physical operations because of the accuracy and efficiency they offer. The Healthcare industry, like any other industry, has also shifted to electronic systems (like electronic medical records systems) to improve their service. But in the beginning, these EMR (electronic medical record) systems could not facilitate different health units to collaborate with one another. This is because each system was developed by different experts in different languages. Hence, to resolve this and many other medical systems-related issues, HL7 standards were introduced.
The EMR systems of today have similar medical new patient forms to fetch the same type of data. Furthermore, they organize this data in a similar format to facilitate the sharing of patient data with other health systems of the same healthcare or with medical systems of other facilities. All these things were only made possible by the guidelines of HL7 standards. Continue reading this blog and you will get to learn these standards and their categories in detail.
What are HL7 Standards and who Created Them?
Health Level Seven (HL7) standards were created by Health Level Seven International, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing standards for the exchange of electronic health care data. HL7 comprises a set of international standards that can help in developing new patient medical forms. They also aid in the transfer and sharing of patient data between various healthcare providers. More specifically, these standards can help bridge the gap between health IT applications. They make sharing of healthcare data easier and more efficient when compared to older methods.
Different healthcare providers are using different applications for operations like billing and keeping patient records. The problem is that communication between these different types of systems is hard to achieve. Despite the reason that they need collaboration among each other to provide the best healthcare. Hence, previously, it was nearly impossible for health providers to share and exchange patient data. To cater to these issues, HL7 was created that provides several standards and guidelines to help software vendors and healthcare providers store and uniformly move data.
HL7 integration made healthcare providers in creating new patient medical forms that can use and share data without using special software for conversions. Additionally, HL7 provides a framework for every step of data exchange and storage from fetching data through medical patient new forms to creating bills of treatment. Also, it describes how data is packaged and moved including defining the language, data type, and structure of the data.
What are Different Categories of Health Level Seven Standards?
The standards of HL7 are broken into seven parts. Each section has a different purpose and defines a new set of rules.
Section One (Primary Standards):
This section defines the standard system integrations and compliance methods. These include the primary standards and possibly the most popular ones among all categories.
Section Two (Foundational Standards):
This part states the foundational standards that can help users in defining the standards. It also includes technology infrastructure that you, as a medical professional implementing HL7 standards, are planning to use. All in all, this section serves as supplemental material for a parent standard.
Section Three (Clinical and Administrative Domain):
In this section, you will find standards on HL7 documents and messaging. They help link messaging and document standards for providers. Furthermore, you will have primary and foundational standards in place before getting into these clinical specialty standards.
Section Four (EHR Profiles):
These standards encapsulate details on how electronic health records (EHR) are constructed and managed using profiles and models. This section makes it possible for you to build an electronic health record (EHR) system with models and profiles. Conclusively, it deals specifically with how to choose a behavioral health EHR but its principles apply to all EHRs.
Section Five (Implementation Guides):
This section helps in the implementation and includes support documents that are made for the purpose of a current standard. This section may also serve as the supplemental section or as supportive material for one of the other standards.
Section Six (Rules and References):
These include the rules, references, programming structures, and guidelines for the growth and expansion of standards and software.
Section Seven (Education and Awareness):
In this section, you’ll find the Standards that educate users and provide them with the tools that can help in the development and adoption of HL7 standards. Also, these standards aid in Standard Trial Use (STU) and other projects currently happening. They also help in understanding HL7 and then putting it into practice.