What Is The Real Difference Between HL7 And FHIR?

HL7 and FHIR

Data significantly impacts the healthcare sector’s cutting-edge approach to improving patient outcomes. Due to the nature of American healthcare, ensuring EHR records are organized correctly for interoperability throughout the healthcare system is crucial to their effective usage.

When comparing HL7 and FHIR standards, there is a much deeper idea to keep in mind. Understanding the fundamental variations can benefit your organization’s efficiency and workflow. Let’s begin by defining HL7 and FHIR.

HL7: What Is It?

The term “HL7” (Health Level Seven) refers to a collection of global data-sharing standards that have gained popularity thanks to Health Level Seven International, a non-profit organization specializing in healthcare interoperability. It functioned as an early encoding system to allow safe healthcare documents and messaging sharing between healthcare organizations.

Our healthcare system comprises a sizable number of roughly connected public and private providers, all with their unique way of operating. Due to the fact that EHR systems are completely unprepared for interoperability, information exchange protocols like HL7 are essential for facilitating communication between these associations.

While the creation of HL7 has been a significant step toward the standardization of health records, integration issues are still too typical, and implementation differs greatly between organizations. Even though HL7’s development has been a highly good development for the normalization of medical records, integration issues continue to be prevalent.

The HL7 V2 Working Principle and Importance

When it was first introduced in 1989, HL7 V2 became one of the most widely used healthcare standards worldwide. The majority of American medical organizations already use this standard, according to HL7. The way HL7 V2 works is by providing a language for systems like healthcare information systems, electronic clinical record (EMR) systems, billing stems, laboratory information systems, and more to communicate with one another. Those messages are written in ASCII text format. When a patient is admitted to a clinic, a specialist requests a prescription from a pharmacy, or a healthcare provider charges a patient, frameworks send messages to one another.

HL7 V2 has helped healthcare companies avoid the difficult software development labor previously required to construct interfaces by allowing multiple systems to connect. The standard leaves a decent amount of work for developers because it was designed to be adaptable and changeable.

Let's Talk With Our Experts

What Is FHIR, exactly?

Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), a significant replacement for HL7 V2 and V3 standards, was introduced in 2014 by HL7. Within a few years, FHIR has won the support of a number of prestigious healthcare organizations, including SMART (Substitutable Medical Applications, Reusable Technologies), CommonWell Health Alliance, and even Apple, with the inclusion of FHIR in the iPhone Health app.

With the help of the open standard FHIR, originally drafted in 2011, legacy systems and new apps may communicate data more quickly than in the past. FHIR was created to simplify implementation compared to earlier standards, provide readily understandable specifications, and allow developers to take advantage of widely used Web technologies. It was created to promote interoperability and communication efficiency.

Why Is FHIR More Effective Than HL7?

FHIR expands upon earlier standards, including HL7 V2, HL7 V3, and CDA (the Clinical Document Architecture subset of HL7 V3). But unlike those prior standards, FHIR uses open web technologies such as RESTful web services and JSON and RDF data formats in addition to XML, which was the data format utilized by earlier standards. Compared to other standards, the learning curve should be less steep for developers thanks to these features.

FHIR also provides a variety of possibilities for system-to-system data exchange. It supports, for instance, messaging (comparable to HL7 V2), documents (comparable to CDA), and a RESTful API strategy. This RESTful method offers increased interoperability among various systems and devices, including mobile devices, mobile apps, medical devices, wearables, and electronic health record (EHR) systems.

The U.S. in 2020 The usage of FHIR by many CMS-regulated payers and providers starting in mid-2021 has been made mandatory by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Challenges with FHIR Implementation

There are a number of challenges and things to keep in mind as you prepare to adopt FHIR.

  • The adoption process will take time: FHIR is relatively young and evolving, whereas HL7 has been a widely used standard for sharing healthcare information for many years. There is little question that FHIR has many advantages, but adoption will be slow.
  • Adoption costs: For significant healthcare organizations, adoption costs are complicated.
  • Risks that sellers might face: Some health IT companies may be put at risk because FHIR can shorten the time it takes to deploy standard health records, which reduces income.

How Do I Begin Using FHIR?

Using FHIR opens up new possibilities for cloud communications and mobile health applications, enabling more sophisticated integration and improved interoperability. FHIR has become the fundamental component for better patient care by enabling EHRs to interface with one another.

In terms of EHR spending, the majority of healthcare companies are currently highly keen to adapt to the latest technologies and standards. To help you achieve the actual outcomes you require, Microtek Learning provides you with the best HL7 FHIR SMART integration services.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *