- Decide if the HL7 standard Version 3 has true value in your environment. What do you expect V3 to do that existing V2 interfaces are not already doing?
- Discuss interfacing strategy with your vendors. If you are moving towards HL7 V3, review existing vendors’ development plans to add V3 or pick new vendors with V3 interfaces.
- Demand HL7 V3 from vendors only when there is a solid business or clinical motivation because the costs to have V3 in your environment will be high.
- Expect that mapping between the HL7 standards (i.e., HL7 V2 and V3) will be challenging and expensive. Interface engines must be augmented with substantial data repository functionality in order to provide any mapping.
- Weigh costs of continuing to build “80 percent standard” HL7 V2 interfaces against entering the expensive world of V3.
- Understand how early your site will be in the HL7 V3 learning curve – ask any vendor who proposed a V3 interface how many other sites have the same V3 interface running and how many different applications are communicating using the interface.
- Consider if your site should become an early adopter of the HL7 V3 standard – how much local interface expertise do you have? What is the backlog of interfaces? How will V3 help solve your business requirements short and long term?
- Gain education on what is HL7 and how HL7 Version 3 fits in; start to understand the impact it will have on your interfacing environment.
- Become involved in the HL7 standards organization – this will keep you up-to-date on the most recent developments and allow you to be part of the process.
Learn more details about the HL7 standard with the white paper entitled The Evolution of HL7.
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Dave Shaver is the CTO for Corepoint Health. Dave has more than 20 years experience in training, consulting, and software development. He’s deeply involved in the HL7 standards community, including co-chair of HL7 Infrastructure and Messaging committee and co-chair of the HL7 FHIR Governance Board.
Latest posts by Dave Shaver (see all)
- HL7 ADT Q&A with Dave Shaver - July 2, 2014
- Health Standards Community Membership Archetypes: Who uses HL7? - August 6, 2013
- Note from the Field: Meditech 6.0 HL7 Integration - September 6, 2011