Health Level 7 is arguably the most common standard in health informatics.  HL7 messaging standards are produced by:

  • HL7 International (www.HL7.org)- an organisation developed as the result of problem solving activities undertaken during the late 1980 and early 1990s to enable health information systems to connect and communicate with each other in an automated way.  This solved the problem of having to re-enter data that had already been collected by another system.
  • HL7 Affiliates – around the world many countries have their own HL7 organisations which are affiliated with the international ‘parent’.
    • HL7 Australia (www.HL7.org.au)

System compliance with HL7 standards v2.x, v3 and CDA (Clinical Document Architecture) and the use of associated XML standards provides ‘functional interoperability’, between systems.  In other words systems which use HL7 standard based messages are able to send and receive documents, data files, or share data and of information via information exchange protocols between systems.

HL7 V2.x standards are the most widely used around the world.  They are used to exchange information which is in simple, very purpose specific groups of structured information.  Most existing healthcare systems already use V2.x messages for information exchange.

HL7 CDA is increasingly being used in health initiatives to share documents in a manner which allows the message not only to be received but processed and broken down by the receiving system and to trigger actions based upon the message content.

HL7 FHIR (Fast Healthcare Implementation Resource) is the latest product for HL7 aiming to bridge the gap between the highly complex requirements of modern healthcare and the practical delivery of implementable software solutions.

eHe’s courses explain these concepts.  eHe staff and associates have been members of HL7 internationally for many years, contributing as members, document update contributors, and in leadership roles in HL7 international, including in the HL7 Education Working Group.

For more information on HL7 or eHe existing courses or those in development can be obtained from HL7@ehe.edu.au

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