On the provider side of healthcare integration, HL7 (particularly v2) is a critical message type to understand. While it is standardized and heavily used by various EHRs/EMRs, it’s used in slightly different ways. There are efforts to further standardize and normalize its use across the board (such as with v3/FHIR), many EHRs and EMRs continue to use 2.x messages. Common HL7 messages include admissions/transfer/discharge (ADT), scheduling (SIU), lab orders and results (ORU, ORM), and medical reports (MDM). Choosing the right platform can be challenging.
Some of the challenges of HL7 2.x messages include:
The ability to add non-standard custom segments or additional data anywhere in the message (whether they are completely custom “Z Segments” or other segments that aren’t typically part of the message, such as IN1 segments in an ADT message to include additional insurance information).
A myriad of parsing and manipulation libraries…