Industry Standard Supported Transactions
Within the clinical integration space HL7.org is the group that manages and oversees the industry standards and has for
several decades. For specifics and details on all the specifications they manage in healthcare, please feel to visit
HL7 Web Site.
HL7 Version 2
HL7 is the oldest standards in healthcare for enabling systems integration, their focus is the clinical care side of the industry and they only handle specific billing related transactions as part of supporting the clinical services they support. HL7 is a very legacy based standards specific to the way communications occur. The HL7 v2 message standard has been a long standard for the clinical industry and vendor platforms to communicate for decades. It is often known as quasi standard throughout the healthcare industry due to its lack of hard and fast rules and openness for vendor augmentation. It has evolved from version 2.1 to its most current version 2.8 and is still being very actively enhanced. HL7 v2 communication involves a client-server based communication model known as MLLP (Minimal Lower Layer Protocol), the expectation is that the server is running one hundred percent of the time to receive transactions. As part of its communication it requires that every transaction is specifically acknowledged or negatively acknowledged during processing. Finally, healthcare systems and integrations typically involve a FIFO based messaging pattern, every message must be processed in order.
FHIR, Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, is the modern current healthcare industry standardization approach to move healthcare from the dark ages of client-server connectivity towards a REST based set of capabilities. Unlike other attempts to modernize clinical integration standards FHIR is the future. It has been around for several years and already has a very large vendor community supporting and adopting it. The industry adoption from 2020 going forward adoption will dramatically increase with government mandates from CMS directly naming it as the means of compliance. We have decided to focus on what CMS has defined as the standard for Interoperability and Patient Access final rule.