How the HL7 and IHE healthcare interoperability standards foster digital coordination among healthcare professionals
- Sharing medical images and other patient data can be challenging due to a lack of standardization among healthcare information systems.
- Health Level 7 (HL7) and Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) have created standards to promote information sharing among healthcare professionals.
- Healthcare information systems that align with HL7 and IHE standards are being developed to empower healthcare professionals to maintain seamless, secure access to MRI and CT scans and other patient data.
- Choosing healthcare information systems that support the HL7 and IHE standards improves communication and collaboration within your facility, with other healthcare networks, and with patients.
Surgeons, radiologists, and other healthcare professionals are often responsible for storing, managing, and securing medical images. At the same time, these professionals must be able to share MRI and CT scans with one another, so they can optimize patient care.
When it comes to medical imaging, healthcare practitioners need to get on the same page. Thankfully, HL7 and IHE provide healthcare interoperability standards that encourage these practitioners to do just that.
What are HL7 and IHE standards?
HL7 is a nonprofit organization that provides a framework for electronic health information exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval. HL7 standards define how information is packaged and shared between healthcare facilities. The standards help these professionals determine the language, structure, and data types required for integration between information systems.
Comparatively, IHE refers to a healthcare initiative designed to improve information sharing among computer systems. IHE promotes the coordinated use of DICOM and other established standards to support patient care. It also asks clinical and technical experts to participate in committees that explore interoperability across surgery, radiology, and other domains. Together, committee members develop and review healthcare interoperability standards.
Why are HL7 and IHE standards important?
To date, standardization across healthcare information systems is nonexistent. Healthcare professionals may use multiple systems to collect, manage, and store patient data, which can hinder overall organizational effectiveness.
If a healthcare organization uses disparate information systems, it may struggle to keep track of all the patient data at its disposal. The organization may also encounter problems securing this information. If patient data cannot be organized and secured effectively, it becomes exceedingly difficult to deliver the best patient care possible.
HL7 and IHE standards promote digital coordination among healthcare information systems. The standards encourage healthcare practitioners to design and develop systems that make it simple to share information with one another and their patients. Thus, the standards can help healthcare practitioners improve patient outcomes.
PACS systems like STORE XR align with HL7 and IHE standards. These platforms are designed to close communication gaps that otherwise hamper patient care. Plus, they promote secure, efficient sharing of medical images across healthcare environments.
Benefits of healthcare information systems that meet HL7 and IHE requirements
Disjointed healthcare information systems can make it tough to share MRI and CT scans with other practitioners and departments. The longer it takes to share medical images and get, the longer it takes patients to receive optimal care.
Healthcare information systems built with HL7 and IHE standards top of mind, like STORE XR and SHARE XR, promote communication and collaboration among healthcare professionals. The systems provide anywhere, anytime access to medical images and other patient data, so healthcare professionals can share patient information with one another and work together to find ways to provide exceptional care.
Outdated healthcare information systems can limit access to patient data. If doctors struggle to retrieve patient data, they cannot provide outstanding patient care. Conversely, if healthcare information systems are not secured properly, they can put the sensitive data about the healthcare organization and its patients at risk.
Using healthcare information systems that align with HL7 and IHE standards enables healthcare organizations to provide authorized users with secure, convenient access to patient records. The systems are backed by security protocols to verify that only authorized users can access these records, regardless of device. Also, the systems empower users to leverage smartphones, tablets, and other devices to retrieve patient records quickly and easily.
Take advantage of healthcare information systems that align with HL7 and IHE standards
HL7 and IHE standards can help healthcare organizations get the most value out of their data. By choosing systems that align with these standards, healthcare professionals can drive communication and collaboration with peers and patients. The systems ensure these practitioners can review medical images with peers and patients faster and more efficiently than they could in the past. They can also help secure medical imaging and patient data while reducing the costs associated with organizing, managing, and storing this information.
Expect new medical imaging software to align with HL7 and IHE standards in the future. For example, DICOM Director has developed the Share XR solution to promote secure sharing of MRI and CT scans among healthcare professionals. To learn more about Share XR, please contact us today.