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EHR Overview

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The goal of the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Work Group is to support the HL7 mission of designing standards to support the sharing of electronic health records. It will accomplish this goal through contributing to the creation and promotion of appropriate and necessary standards including the definition of a high-level architecture to support the interoperability requirements among EHR Systems.


Work Products and Contributions to HL7 Processes

  • Provide a forum for discussion of what standards and definitions are necessary to obtain interoperability among Electronic Health Record Systems across disparate providers. Different solutions will be examined and certain solutions will be advanced as standards.
  • Create a functional model for EHR Systems in a variety of health care settings.
  • Define requirements for the interoperable exchange of Electronic Health Records or components thereof.
  • Create use cases to help define the requirements for EHR interoperability
  • Coordinated/shared care of patients across disparate healthcare providers
  • Query for records or components of an EHR
  • Use the HDF methodology to define EHR requirements, including privacy and security requirements, as well as requirements for EHR transactions.
  • This document recognizes the unique characteristics of the EHR WG in that required messages will fall within the scope of other Work Groups. Therefore, the EHR WG will collaborate with other appropriate WGs to produce the appropriate standards, including messages, to meet EHR requirements.

Formal Relationships with Other HL7 Groups

The EHR Technical Committee must interact with other technical committees to create standards in support of EHR interoperability. Initially, the relationships will be focused on the following groups:

  • Medical Records/Information Management - Close coordination with this group will prevent overlap of effort and mutual coordination for the management of health information
  • Vocabulary TC - terminology choices for data elements in EHR
  • Clinical Decision Support TC - virtual EHR, interaction for decision support
  • Structured Documents TC - CDA for EHR, structure and content
  • Orders and Observations - content of EHR
  • Security and Accountability SIG - privacy and security of data elements, maintenance of accountability with transmission of Her
  • Patient Care

Formal Relationships with Groups Outside of HL7

There are a number of active and potential formal relationships with groups outside of HL7. Formal relationships will be governed by what are approved by the HL7 Board. Specifically, formal relationships will be established with the following groups:

  • ISO - TC 215 Health Informatics; EHR initiatives
  • CEN - generic memorandum of understanding, EHR standards
  • openEHR (subject to board approval) - EHR architecture
  • Consolidated Healthcare Initiative including Veterans Health Administration, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease and Control, Department Of Defense - sponsorship of EHR functionality standard
  • Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation - requested EHR functionality standard; future work on EHR transmission
  • Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society - sponsor functional standards, demonstrations
  • American Health Information Management Association - mutual interest in EHR, supportive work
  • ASTM International - CCR, data elements
  • Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise, eHealthInitiative, Connecting for Health - demonstration of EHR and EHR interchange