HL7, which is also known as “Health Level Seven,” is a set of international standards and guidelines to help healthcare providers exchange, integrate and retrieve electronic health information securely. 

But the most important function of HL7 is to facilitate interoperability between health information systems. This ensures all documentation and data remain consistent, even if the systems are part of different healthcare organisations.

To better understand this, let’s look at John.

John injures his knee when he falls off his ladder and is admitted to the hospital. 

At the hospital, he registers at the front desk with his details like name, date of birth and relevant insurance details. This information is then combined to create a new patient record for John. 

John is then called to see a clinician, who reviews all of John’s medical information and makes some observational notes using a handheld device. The clinician wants an X-ray done and schedules John for an appointment using the hospital’s radiology information system. 

Thanks to HL7, John didn’t need to fill out separate forms for the hospital registration and his radiology appointment. His doctor was easily able to view all his health information without the need for time-consuming paperwork and admin at each stage.

Here, HL7 enabled all these health information systems to interact with one another, freeing up clinician time to care for their patient at the point of care. 

What’s Orion Health’s role in this?

Orion Health’s Virtuoso Digital Health Platform supports several HL7 standards out of the box, from HL7 v2 to C-CDA, to FHIR. Interoperability is at the core of this solution, allowing the integration of an extensive set of systems that can share data via messaging, document-based exchange or APIs.

By complying with HL7 guidelines, relevant patient information is available at the right time in the correct format, even when sourced from disparate settings, providing a rich and comprehensive view of individuals and populations. 

Interested in learning more? Read our blog to deep dive into HL7 and its benefits in healthcare.