There are a handful of ways care providers can choose to interface, or connect, to external health organizations, be they a member of the local medical community or an official health information exchange (HIE) organization. Formal HIEs are gaining steam thanks to maturity and providers’ motivation to meet Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements, but the active process of exchanging health information – the verb, not the noun – has been the goal since the HITECH act pushed the industry into the modern world via electronic health records.
So how, exactly, do health organizations send health records to an external organization? Since “by hiring a professional” doesn’t really provide you with any real knowledge, let’s examine a handful of HL7 message transport methods most commonly used by our customers and throughout the health industry. Each method has pros and cons, which will be explored.