Ann Arbor, MI, USA and Washington, DC, USA – The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) and Health Level Seven® International (HL7®) announce the approval of the first-ever implementation guide in the laboratory industry for a reliable process to deliver a laboratory’s electronic Directory of Service to those providers ordering laboratory services in a meaningful and constructive process.
The Version 2 Implementation Guide establishes a standard format for delivery of test compendium data elements that differ from laboratory to laboratory, including order codes, test descriptions, and specimen requirements. The guide is based on the Master File chapter of the HL7 Version 2.6 standard. As it was being developed, a number of proposed edits were incorporated into the guide, which also included the early adoption of change proposals to HL7 Version 2.8, to enable eDOS to provide all the necessary information to assist in the research, selection and ordering of laboratory tests.
Jason DuBois, vice president of government relations at ACLA said, “Standardization and interoperability are crucial elements in advancing the adoption of electronic healthcare. I am pleased that ACLA’s members have collaborated to develop a framework for the electronic distribution of a Directory of Service for laboratories based on the HL7 standard. This interoperability standard for laboratory services is the first of its kind and sets the stage for similar collaborative efforts in other areas of the healthcare industry.”
Use of this implementation guide will support the initial laboratory test compendium for each customer as well as ongoing maintenance updates throughout the life of the interface, regardless of the laboratory or electronic health record (EHR) system. The guide will allow EHR systems and other laboratory systems to automate the database update process for all laboratories so that services are ordered in one
consistent manner. This will translate into newly developed tests, such as the one for the H1N1 virus, being made available for ordering on a timelier basis.
Doug Fridsma, MD, PhD, director of the office of standards and interoperability at ONC and HL7 International board member, commented, “I applaud the efforts of ACLA and HL7 to produce this first-ever standard for laboratory interoperability. It marks an important step in an ongoing journey toward full nationwide interoperable health information exchange and improved outcomes for patients.”
HL7 members can download the HL7 Version 2 Implementation Guide: Laboratory Test Compendium Framework on the HL7 website. Non-members may purchase a copy on the HL7 store under the heading “Implementation Guides” on the HL7 website at www.HL7.org.
About HL7 International
Founded in 1987, Health Level Seven International is the global authority for healthcare information interoperability and standards with affiliates established in more than 30 countries. HL7 is a non-profit, ANSI accredited standards development organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive framework and related standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information that supports clinical practice and the management, delivery and evaluation of health services. HL7’s more than 2,300 members represent approximately 500 corporate members, which include more than 90 percent of the information systems vendors serving healthcare. HL7 collaborates with other standards developers and provider, payer, philanthropic and government agencies at the highest levels to ensure the development of comprehensive and reliable standards and successful interoperability efforts. For more information, please visit: www.HL7.org.
The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) is a not-for-profit organization representing the leading independent providers of laboratory services in the United States. Its primary purpose is to advocate laws and regulations that recognize the essential role that laboratory services play in delivering cost-effective health care, encourage the highest standards of quality, service and ethical conduct among its members, and promote public awareness about the value of laboratory services in
preventing illness, diagnosing disease, and monitoring medical treatment. For more information, please visit: www.Clinical-Labs.org