Building a Standard Interface Template


We believe that  the most effective way to interface with HL7 is to develop some simple templates that can easily be adapted to develop new interfaces.

If you have a lot of interfaces to deal with then you cannot get better advice than from Anthony Julian, the HL7 infra-structure and Messaging Co-Chair:

“Scripting is the only answer when you have a large quantity of interfaces to handle”

Anthony knows his onions. This is Anthony’s personal opinion but keep in mind he and his team at the Mayo Clinic processed over 1.3 billion HL7 messages last year. His opinion is worth listening to. Any organization that has grasped the concept of how to cost effectively integrate with HL7 will usually go through the process of building a ‘standard HL7 template’. This should be a combination of:

  • An initial starting vanilla interface file.
  • A library of standard re-usable modules to handle common scenarios.

The concept isn’t difficult. Doing it well is the challenge. From my observations there is great level of variability in how well organizations integrate with HL7. Some can pull on new systems within hours others turn each interface into in a marathon project. My goal here is to give good ideas on how your organization could be more efficient by having a better standard template.


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