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Introduction to HL7: Content

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eLearning Initiative: Introduction to HL7

Co-developed by Education and Process Improvement Committees

What will I learn?

  • What is HL7?
  • What are the standards HL7 creates?
  • Who are the participants?
  • How do HL7 standards get developed?
  • How do I get involved?
  • Where do I go for additional information?
  • How are meetings organized?

What is HL7?

"Insert agreed to description which leads to mission and strategies. June will take this page (s).'"

HL7 Mission

HL7 is an international community of healthcare subject matter experts and information scientists collaborating to create standards for the exchange, management and integration of electronic healthcare information. HL7 promotes the use of such standards within and among healthcare organizations to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare delivery for the benefit of all.


HL7's Strategies:

  • Develop coherent, extendible standards that permit structured, encoded health care information of the type required to support patient care, to be exchanged between computer applications while preserving meaning.
  • Develop a formal methodology to support the creation of HL7 standards from the HL7 Reference Information Model (RIM).
  • Educate the healthcare industry, policy makers, and the general public concerning the benefits of healthcare information standardization generally and HL7 standards specifically.
  • Promote the use of HL7 standards world-wide through the creation of HL7 International Affiliate organizations, which participate in developing HL7 standards and which localize HL7 standards as required.
  • Stimulate, encourage and facilitate domain experts from healthcare industry stakeholder organizations to participate in HL7 to develop healthcare information standards in their area of expertise.
  • Collaborate with other standards development organizations and national and international sanctioning bodies (e.g. ANSI and ISO), in both the healthcare and information infrastructure domains to promote the use of supportive and compatible standards.
  • Collaborate with healthcare information technology users to ensure that HL7 standards meet real-world requirements, and that appropriate standards development efforts are initiated by HL7 to meet emergent requirements.

Interoperability Goal

"Text needed – may be covered in strategy so TBD. Abdul-Malik will pull together wording.'"

International Goal

"Text to be provided by International Team – Nancy will reach out to Kai for text.'"

International Mentoring Committee

  • Purpose
  • IMC Links/contacts
  • Success Stories
  • Affiliate page link

"John Ritter will develop this content. Nancy will outline for John what he needs to develop, level of detail, etc."

Who is HL7?

  • Affiliates – careful to work for future organization structure.
  • Corporate Members
  • Benefactors etc
  • Individual Members
  • Staff
  • RWJ type

"Sheila will take this one.'"


"Obtain high level (not requiring constant modification) statistics about membership of companies and individuals.

June will take this one."


  • WGMs
  • Conference Calls
  • Standards development
  • HL7 business/infrastructure

.. "TBD'"

Work Group Meetings

Describe the activities at WGMs i.e. business, ballot reconciliation, standards creation, etc.



Pull in the current staff information from the website.

"Nancy will reach out to Karen.'"


Text describing the role of each in relation to HL7.

  • ANSI
  • X12


Alliances, MOUs, Agreements

Define Alliances, MOU, and Agreements, where and how they are relevant. Obtain a list of major ones with a link to all, or all if the list is manageable, with brief summary of relationship. "Abdul-Malik'"

How are standards developed?

Insert a picture of process.

"In the co-chair handbook, June but not the next meeting.'"

Describe the picture

Text to be developed.

"In the co-chair handbook, June but not the next meeting.'"

Technical Committees, SIGS, Technical Steering Committee

New Organization Text needed here

"Ed, per email will take this'"

Board Appointed Committees

Pull in the current list of board appointed committees from the HL7 website. Text describing need, term, reasoning, etc.

"Nancy will request of Chuck.'"

Committee Processes

  • DMP
  • List Servers
  • Wiki use

Text describing how one find out how a particular committee functions and uses the above?


  • What defines a project?
  • How do they start?

Display current list of projects from the list on the website. Alternately, describe a few examples and provide a link to current list.

Why get involved in HL7?

  • Learn about HL7 Standards
  • Write HL7 Standards
  • Influence Direction
  • Other …


Marketing Page Marketing Committee to input to text here.

Where do I go from here? Example 1

Develop an example of type of person coming to the site i.e. “I have joined an IT department for laboratory vendor.” Questions to answer with guidance text.

Where do I go from here? Example 2

Develop a second example that addresses getting information around increasing use of standards in my organization.

HL7 Website

Link plus description of where to start. This should address new website design and links.

Getting Involved

  • Determine target committee (s)
  • Sign up for the list serve (s) Link to list serve signup
  • Conference call schedule (s) Link to conference call schedule calendar.
  • Register for the next meeting Link to brochure and registration page for the next WGM.

Contacting Committees

  • Co-chair
  • Use of list serve
  • Other …

What if I cannot attend meetings?

Recruitment text to the value of other participation.

Links Page

Consolidated list of links referenced in the presentation. Any additional links that may be appropriate.