The HL7 Standard is the key for connectivity
HL7 (Health Level 7) supports data exchange of administrative data between software based systems (demographic patient data, billing information, schedule management, etc.). Also the clinical reporting and information exchange between physicians is covered by HL7 regulations. The most important reporting standard today is CDA (Clinical Document Architecture: see below).
HL7 Message Types supported by all ifa applications
In eye care, various data have to be managed and exchanged between heterogeneous applications (e.g. data exchange between a PMS and an EHR). HL7 covers all relevant data areas with so-called “message types”:
HL7 Message Type: ADT
Standard data performance: Patient demographicsand context according to the segment descriptions according to the HL7 Interface Specifications.
HL7 Message Type: SIU
Schedule Information Unsolicited
Standard data performance: Patient schedule data and appointment context according to the segment descriptions according to the HL7 Interface Specifications.
HL7 Message Type Module: DFT
Data Financial Transaction
Standard data performance: Patient procedures and financial/charging information and context according to the segment descriptions according to the HL7 Interface Specifications.
HL7 Message Type Module: ORU
Observational Report Unsolicited
Standard data performance: Patient encounter report and context structured or as PDF object according to the segment descriptions according to the HL7 Interface Specifications.
The individual report definition requires always additional customization and development services by the Health IT provider.
HL7 C-CDA in the US MU (Meaningful Use) project
In addition to message standards, the HL7 group also developed clinical report structures which became requirements for national Health IT projects.
In support of their objective to facilitate US wide adoption of health information technology and enabling interoperability for the exchange of health information, the Standards & Interoperability (S&I) Framework, enabled by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology, Office of Standards & Interoperability (OSI) has sponsored the development of harmonized interoperability specifications. These specifications are designed to support national health initiatives and healthcare priorities, including Meaningful Use (MU).
The Consolidated-CDA (HL7 Clinical Document Architecture) is an integral requirement of the US MU Stage 2 certification (vendors) and attestation (providers).
Ophthalmologists should only invest into technology which support HL7 and/or DICOM as that is the only protection for future investments.