Definition

Health Level 7 International HL7

Health Level 7 International (HL7) is an organization dedicated to developing standards for the exchange of electronic health information. The organization's goal is to improve the interoperability of software applications used by the health care industry. The “7” in the organization’s name refers to Layer 7 in the OSI reference model. Layer 7 is the final layer -- the application layer -- in the communication model the International Organization for Standardization developed for Open Systems Interconnection.

The standards address:

Messaging and data exchange
Decision support
Rules syntax
Visual integration of applications
Insurance claims
Clinical documents such as discharge summaries
Product labels for prescription medication
Electronic health records
Personal health records

HL7 was founded in 1987 and accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 1994. 

Learn more:

The HL7 website provides a list of its approved standards

SearchSOA.com reports on a medical imaging group that built an HL7 messaging hub

How HL7 standards helped shape meaningful use.

This was last updated in May 2010
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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