Health Level Seven (HL7) Standards: operating in the healthcare arena
a framework (and related standards) for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information. These standards define how information is package and communicated from one party to another, setting the language, structure and data types required for seamless integration between systems. HL7 standards support clinical practice and the management, delivery, and evaluation of health services, and are recognized as the most commonly used in the world.
It states that its mission is to provide standards for interoperability that improve care delivery, optimize workflow, reduce ambiguity, and enhance knowledge transfer among all stakeholders, including healthcare providers, government agencies, the vendor community, fellow SDOs (standards-developing organizations), and patients.
The primary goal of HL7 is providing and sharing standards for exchange of electronic health information (interoperability).
- Interoperability is the ability to transfer, share, and utilize information from one system to another. Aspects of interoperability include (The HL7 Interoperability Work Group framework include three types of interoperability: Technical, Semantic, and Process):
- Technical: the ability to move data freely from one system to another
- Semantic: the ability to understand data that have been move from one system to another in the same way, attesting to the fact that data are not corrupted or misinterpreted. it guarantees that the meaning of the exchanged data remains the same on both ends of the transaction.
- Syntactical and functional: the ability to transfer data formats
- Process: the ability of business functions where one system is housed to work with those housing another system
The “Level Seven” in HL7’s name refers to the
highest level of the International Standards Organization’s (ISO) communications model for Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) 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.
(retrieved from www.hl7.org)
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Standards: the national standards of 157 countries- nongovernmental organization
- a network of national standards institutes that work in partnership with international organizations, governments, industries, businesses, and consumer representatives
- The overall goals of a standard are to encourage organizations that are interested in improving quality of software products to employ proven, consistent, and reliable methods for assessing the state of their software development processes.
- Organization can also use their assessment results as part of coherent improvement programs
- Content: representation of languages and language groups