HL7, or Health Level 7, is the standard the industry has chosen for communication between medical software/devices.
This standard allows different manufacturers of medical software and equipment a standardized way of communicating so your facility can function and provide appropriate patient care.
Most HL7 Interfaces communicate via TCP/IP. Each HL7 vendor has an IP address, and communication of data happens over a network using these dedicated addresses. This process is akin to making a telephone call.
If Tom wants to call Bob, both need to have a phone. Each needs to have a phone number that is known by the other. If Bob’s number changes, and Tom doesn’t know about the change, he won’t be able to call Bob.
Sometimes a company’s IT department needs to make changes to the business’s IP address scheme. These changes will often impact the IP address of the sending or receiving HL7 interfaces.
Before making a change, it is important to notify each HL7 vendor of the pending change and plan the cutover to the new IP address carefully.
Doing so will ensure a seamless change and help to avoid unnecessary frustration.