HL7 Fundamentals

Handling different versions of HL7

Iguana supports all the standard versions of HL7. The main thing to keep in mind with HL7 however is that there is very little standardization in the protocol.

Typically real world HL7 interfaces are thin wrappers around the structure of the databases that populate them. All the flaws and limitations of the data as expressed in the database will be mirrored in the HL7 interfaces.

i.e. if a system doesn’t have separate fields for last name and first name then you can expect its HL7 interface will just have the name in one field. All this good fun is why you need to have an interface engine in the first place.

See the article on Technological and Social Change to get more of a feel for the issue.

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