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HL7 Development Framework

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The HL7 Development Framework (HDF) details the process of the HL7 standard development methodology. The HDF is a framework of modeling and administrative processes, policies, and deliverables used by HL7 to produce specifications that are used by the healthcare information management community to overcome challenges and barriers to interoperability among computerized healthcare-related information systems.

The specifications produced by HL7 target multiple facets of the interoperability challenge. They include specification of information models, datatypes, and vocabularies; messaging, clinical documents, and context management standards; and implementation technology, profile, and conformance specifications. Despite the diversity in depth and scope of HL7 specifications a common thread is the use of a model driven methodology and the derivation of specifications and interim work products from a common set of reference models

The models used in the HDF development methodology use the Unified Modeling Language (UML) as the preferred syntax for representing the model artifacts expressed in HL7 specifications. The HDF is a replacement for and an extension to the Message Development Framework (MDF) produced by HL7 in 1997 to describe the model driven development methodology for producing HL7 Version 3.0 message specifications. The HDF differs from and enhances the MDF by more closely aligning the underlying metamodel governing well-formed HL7 models with the metamodel of UML and applying the model driven process to all of the technical specifications of HL7, not just messages.

The latest version of the Harmonized HL7 Development Framework is published at: