The Business Case for HL7

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Monday, 27 October 2014 18:17

Forecasting the Adoption of Electronic Health Information Sharing
We’ve been watching the progress made since the 2009 HITECH Act regarding the implementation of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems in the U.S. Hospital systems have made a great first start, but efforts have been slow in the level of electronic information sharing across the entire healthcare sector. We still are years away from achieving the standards of interoperability as set forth in the vision of Health Level Seven International (HL7) vision and strategic initiatives for the exchange, integration, sharing and analysis of health data. We’ll get there eventually, but it may be a long and winding road ahead.

As the demand increases for organizational efficiencies as well as an improved patient experience, more healthcare organizations will begin finding ways to connect with one another and achieve interoperability. In turn, more and more healthcare providers will begin to see the value of adopting the new standards, and the industry will move toward complete integration.

We would need a crystal ball to make exact predictions as to the time frame of adoption of HL7 standards within the healthcare sector. But since it’s nearly Halloween, we thought we’d take our best guess of how we see the industry playing out in the next few years:
100 Percent Adoption of EHR and Meaningful Use

Continued Support of Health Information Exchanges among States

Adopting HL7 Integration Engines

Development of a Universal Architecture

The industry may be a decade or more away from achieving the goals outlined in the HL7 vision. That’s the bad news. But we don’t need a crystal ball to tell us that with continued government support, the continued research and development toward a universal language, and industry leaders encouraging participation among all sectors, we will continue to make progress in the quest for interoperability. And that’s the good news.