Monday, October 1, 2007

What is HL7?

  • Full form of HL7: Health Level Seven
  • Accredited standards to share clinical and administrative data
  • Promoted by Health Level Seven Inc. (USA) Ann Arbor, MI (USA)
  • Freely available without licenses or license fees 
  • Copyrighted for accuracy and integrity
  • HL7 message format: human readable ASCII
  • HL7 message  -> consists of segments
  • Over 120 different segment types are available
  • Segments are separated by line feeds (\r or 0x0D)
  • A segment begins with a three letter name such as MSH
  • Segment examples: MSH (Message Header), PID (Patient Info)
  • Segment -> consists composites (or fields)
  • Composites are separated by | characters (or \F\)
  • Composites may contain other composites (sub-composites or sub-fields)
  • Sub-fields are separated by ^ characters (or \S\)
  • Sub-composites may contain other composites (sub-sub-composites or sub-sub-fields)
  • Sub-sub-fields are separated by & characters (or \T\)
  • HL7 website:
  • HL7 on Wikipedia:
  • HL7 glossary of terms:

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