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HL7 Plug and Play

A commonly used notion in the IT industry today is the notion of "plug and play". The idea is that a software component is able to "plug" into one or more existing systems and immediately (and correctly) "play". In a health interfacing context HL7 plug and play suggests that an application that conforms to the HL7 Standard should be able to be installed into an existing customer environment and faultlessly inter operate with existing applications.

Sadly this is not generally true.

The plug and play expectation is fostered by everyday experiences where other tools we use are increasingly plug and play. Examples include:

Reasons that two HL7 standard based applications are not plug and play might include:

Despite the silver bullet of HL7 interface plug and play not existing, a number of approaches can be used to mitigate interface compatibility issues. These include:

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