HL7 Standard Drives Increased Interface Requirements and Challenges

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Survey results from NeoTool’s HL7 Reference Guide Readers.

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As HL7’s importance grows with increased healthcare interoperability requirements, it makes sense that more healthcare IT professionals need to have practical knowledge on how to make HL7 work effectively between applications and providers

The response to NeoTool’s HL7 Reference Guide (Second Edition) has been overwhelming. NeoTool’s HL7 Reference Guide has become one of the most requested resources for healthcare IT professionals.

When registering to receive a complimentary copy of the HL7 Reference Guide, two simple questions are asked:

  • What is your biggest healthcare interfacing challenge?
  • What is your organization type (e.g., hospital, lab, clinic, imaging center, vendor, etc.)?

Although the responses have been generally similar, there are some interesting differences. Overall, the top three interfacing challenges, as reported in this survey, across all healthcare organization types are:

1. Gaining a real-world education on HL7
2. Meeting increased interface requirements from external healthcare providers
3. Monitoring healthcare interfaces to ensure improved service levels to departments and external healthcare providers

“As HL7’s importance grows with increased healthcare interoperability requirements, it makes sense that more healthcare IT professionals need to have practical knowledge on how to make HL7 work effectively between applications and providers,” said Dave Shaver, NeoTool’s President and CTO.

“The three challenges are tied together. Increased healthcare requirements drive the need for both more HL7 knowledge and more effective interface monitoring solutions for the growing number of deployed interfaces,” continued Shaver.

Each market segment – hospitals; imaging centers, clinics, & labs; and healthcare vendors – had a different priority mix of their interfacing challenges. Several interesting insights include:

  • Hospitals: Interface monitoring is credible as the top interfacing challenge for hospitals since they generally are more mature in their adoption of HL7 to connect their internal applications. However, the number two challenge is meeting the increased demand for interfaces. With the adoption of electronic health records (EHR) and electronic medical record (EMR) systems, hospitals are being challenged to implement more interfaces, more quickly, and more efficiently.
  • Imaging Center, Clinics, & Laboratories: These healthcare entities are becoming heavy adopters of HL7 and interfacing solutions. Consequently, learning HL7 is a critical challenge for each of these healthcare providers. Although labs in particular may have implemented more point-to-point interfaces in the past, increased operational efficiency requirements and new business demands to strengthen ties to physicians are driving the requirement to interface more productively.
  • Vendors (healthcare software vendors and medical device manufacturers): With healthcare market dynamics changing, healthcare vendors are required to adapt and become more flexible in order to meet the new interfacing demands. In order to become more competitive, they are being challenged to meet healthcare interfacing demands more efficiently and provide greater capabilities to monitor and support deployed interfaces. These are their top interfacing challenges, according to the survey.

As a summary, the top three interfacing challenges in order of highest priority are outlined below for each market segment.

Hospitals:

1. Monitoring healthcare interfaces to ensure improved service levels to departments and external healthcare providers
2. Meeting increased interface requirements from external healthcare providers
3. Gaining a real-world education on HL7

Imaging Centers, Clinics, & Labs:

1. Gaining a real-world education on HL7
2. Managing point-to-point interfaces
3. Meeting increased interface requirements from external healthcare providers

Vendors:

1. Meeting increased interface requirements from external healthcare providers
2. Monitoring healthcare interfaces to ensure improved service levels to departments and external healthcare providers
3. Gaining a real-world education on HL7

Visit NeoTool to review more details about the healthcare interfacing challenges survey results.

“For many years, I have worked with healthcare providers and vendors in overcoming their interfacing challenges,” said Shaver. “Based on these customer experiences, NeoTool developed the NeoIntegrate interface engine so that healthcare interfaces can be built simply, deployed quickly, and monitored effectively. We are dedicated solely to enabling healthcare providers and vendors to more productively meet their interfacing challenges.”

Visit NeoTool to receive a copy of their HL7 Reference Guide.

About NeoTool:
NeoTool’s healthcare integration solutions empower organizations to develop, test, deploy, and manage data exchanges between healthcare applications and providers. Through software, HL7 training, and consulting, NeoTool is dedicated solely to healthcare application interfacing. NeoTool customers include healthcare providers (e.g., hospitals, imaging centers, labs, and clinics), healthcare software application providers, and medical device manufacturers.

Contact: Jon Mertz, NeoTool, 469-229-5000 or jon.mertz(at)neotool.com.

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Jon Mertz
NeoTool
469-229-5000
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