/* mobile /* end mobile MEDDESKTOP: What Is Health Level Seven, HL7

Friday, March 14, 2008

What Is Health Level Seven, HL7

Self Proclaimed to be "Level Seven" of Healthcare service, HL7 provides valuable service to our community. "Level Seven" refers to the highest level of the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) communications model for OSI's (Open Systems Interconnection) Application Level. The application level addresses definition of the data to be exchanged, the timing of the interchange, and the communication of certain errors to the application. The seventh level supports such functions as security checks, participant identification, availability checks, exchange mechanism negotiations and, most importantly, data exchange structuring.

Health Level Seven is one of several American National Standards Institute (ANSI) -accredited Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs) operating in the healthcare arena. Most SDOs produce standards (sometimes called specifications or protocols) for a particular healthcare domain such as pharmacy, medical devices, imaging or insurance (claims processing) transactions. Health Level Seven’s domain is clinical and administrative data.

Headquartered in Ann Arbor, MI, Health Level Seven is like most of the other SDOs in that it is a not-for-profit volunteer organization. Its members-- providers, vendors, payers, consultants, government groups and others who have an interest in the development and advancement of clinical and administrative standards for healthcare—develop the standards. Like all ANSI-accredited SDOs, Health Level Seven adheres to a strict and well-defined set of operating procedures that ensures consensus, openness and balance of interest. A frequent misconception about Health Level Seven (and presumably about the other SDOs) is that it develops software. In reality, Health Level Seven develops specifications, the most widely used being a messaging standard that enables disparate healthcare applications to exchange keys sets of clinical and administrative data.

Members of Health Level Seven are known collectively as the Working Group, which is organized into technical committees and special interest groups. The technical committees are directly responsible for the content of the Standards. Special interest groups serve as a test bed for exploring new areas that may need coverage in HL7’s published standards. A list of the technical committees and special interest groups as well as their missions, scopes and current leadership is available on this web site.

HL7's Vision

To create the best and most widely used standards in healthcare.

HL7's Mission

HL7 provides standards for interoperability that improve care delivery, optimize workflow, reduce ambiguity and enhance knowledge transfer among all of our stakeholders, including healthcare providers, government agencies, the vendor community, fellow SDOs and patients. In all of our processes we exhibit timeliness, scientific rigor and technical expertise without compromising transparency, accountability, practicality, or our willingness to put the needs of our stakeholders first.

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Dave S said...

To learn more about HL7 v2.x and HL7 v3.x, check out this vendor-neutral whitepaper:


sol@rion said...

Thank for the link Dave.


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