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Ankota: Home Care Next Generation Blog

Home Care Software Geek Explains HL7

As a home care professional or someone evaluating home care software, you might occaisionally see phrases like HL7 compliant or HL7 integration and wonder what the heck does that mean...

This is an even geekier topic than I usually address, but I came across a super health care software geek at a company called Interfaceware who explained it in this short and entertaining video.

How does HL7 work? from iNTERFACEWARE.COM on Vimeo.

Bottom line is this...  Computers speak to each other in a variety of ways like sendingmessage or files of information to one another.  The contents of the message or file can be pretty much anything so long as the sender and the receiver agree.  Most modern communication between computers today is done by sending a message in a language called XML over the http protocol (http is what you use to go to a website, such as typing http://www.ankota.com which is a message requesting the display of our website).  The XML "language" is really just a description of a format where there is a "tag" and a "Value" in a certain structure, like <DOB>08/24/1963</DOB> is a way of sharing a date of birth of August 24th 1963.   But instead of everyone making up their own tags and figuring out their own interfaces, you can think of HL7 as a dialect that many computer companies can follow to communicate.  The most common use of HL7 is for various devices and pieces of software in hospitals to send things to your bill...  

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