When your organization is planning for an HL7 standards update, as with every new version of software or new standard, you'll face a learning curve. You have to understand what has changed, what new functions (e.g., benefits) you are going to get from it, but more importantly, you have to understand exactly what you have to do to implement the new version. Sometimes it's a simple upgrade, but other times, especially with standards, in order to move the technology forward, sometimes it's completely different and requires a lot more planning and implementation time.
Among all of the hot topics in the healthcare IT industry (EHR Interoperability, Meaningful Use, Population Health etc), one of the clear leaders that people are focusing on is EHR Migration. We’ve reached a level of maturity where the majority of hospitals are exchanging information electronically (thanks Meaningful Use!), and now hospitals and healthcare systems are taking a good look to see if the systems they have put in place are still meeting their needs and expectations.
With the future of healthcare moving to value-based care, physicians will be paid based on outcomes. So it's important for the provider, and for the patients' benefit, to make sure the outcomes are as good as they can be.
One of the perks of being in the healthcare IT business is being able to actually see how IT solutions, and specifically interoperability, can really help improve outcomes — whether it's the day-to-day work of hospital staff, or better yet, if it has a direct, positive effect on patients.