Health Level Seven International Inc. (HL7) and the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization (IHTSDO) are continuing their efforts to foment health care interoperability, the organizations announced last week.
Individually, both organizations develop standards — HL7 on its eponymous documentation, messaging and electronic health record (EHR) standards and IHTSDO on the Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine, Clinical Terms, better known as SNOMED CT.
Collectively, the organizations plan to use each other’s expertise to further their health care interoperability endeavors. SNOMED CT is now being made available under a public license within HL7 products, while IHTSDO will now support the Common Terminology Services standard, developed by HL7 and the Object Management Group, to provide an interface within EHR systems. The groups also intend to streamline their respective submission processes for new and updated SNOMED CT codes.
A lack of health information exchange standards is widely cited as a huge stumbling block for the industry, as it prevents the sharing of electronic data at the pint of care. The HL7- IHTSDO collaboration, which began in 2009, thus represents a key step in advancing the use of both clinical and technology standards in order to improve health care interoperability.