Finding top talent is not an easy task for most CIOs. With the massive digitization of the healthcare industry and the rising demand caused by patient access and the Interoperability Rule, providers must hire and train interface analysts and developers. Here are some questions to ask when you have to employ a new HL7 interface analyst for your projects.

1. Which Versions of HL7 Have You Used to Develop Interface Projects?

Health IT vendors have used various versions of HL7 in their products, from version 1 to version 3. It’s not surprising that many legacy applications built with older HL7 versions are still in use in many healthcare facilities across the country today.

To connect to information systems and applications that use older versions of HL7, your interface analyst must have sufficient experience with different versions of the standard.

Since HL7 is a flexible standard, the analyst must have the skills to develop interface specification standards for the version your organization uses. Also, the developer must have the ability to create interfaces that can work with more than one version of HL7.

2. What’s Your Experience With Connecting EHRs to LIS, RIS, Devices, and Other Information Systems?

Today, most clinicians depend on diagnostic tests to create treatment plans and make drug prescriptions. That’s why connecting your EHR to your LIS, or the information system of your external lab is essential.

One of the most incredible productivity boosters is an interface that enables clinicians to make lab orders directly from your EHR. Your analyst will also need to use HL7 to connect medical devices with LIS, RIS, and pathology information systems.

3. Have You Worked With HL7 Interface Engines?

An interface engine is a software application that simplifies the design, development, and deployment of interfaces. Instead of building bi-directional interfaces between your EHR and other information systems, you can use the interface engine to create multiple connections.

Interface engines are usually hosted in the cloud and licensed to you by a reputable vendor. They are versatile and can reduce interface development time by up to 60%.

If you plan to deploy an interface engine, make sure your analyst is comfortable working with the type of solution you want to use.

4. How Many Health Information Exchange (HIE) Projects Have You Worked On?

Health Information Exchanges are becoming increasingly important in the management of population health. Today, providers of various capacities are part of HIEs because they collect vital data that aids in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of many diseases.

A competent HL7 interface analyst should configure interfaces to send information about admission, diagnosis, and treatment (ADT) to HIEs.

5. Are You Familiar With the Creation of Test Scripts for Interfaces?

Interface engines provide two ways to create new connections: graphical user interface (GUI) and scripting. While the GUI offers a faster route to creating interfaces, such interfaces will have limited functionality.

The best way to create a fully customizable bi-directional interface via an integration engine is through scripting.

Having an analyst who can create scripts for customization and testing interfaces will be a unique advantage to your team.

Connect With an Expert HL7 Interface Analyst

Our HL7 developers and analysts have a wealth of experience from completing hundreds of successful interface development projects.

To interact with any of our analysts, call Lifepoint Informatics at 877.522.8378 or visit our contact page now to book a free consultation.