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Patient Care Mission & Charter

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HL7 Patient Care Work Group Mission and Charter

Updated August 2013


The mission of the Patient Care Working Group (PCWG) is to define the requirements and solutions to support the needs for communicating information related to the creation, management, execution and quality of care provision.


Work Products and Contributions to HL7 Processes

The PCWG provides a forum for all stakeholders concerned with clinical content related to patient care information. The WG works with and provides patient care guidance/recommendations to other WGs. The PCWG takes into account the experience of groups outside of HL7 (e.g., Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) PCC, US DHHS Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) Standards and Interoperability (S&I) Framework. Stakeholders include physicians, nurses, and other clinicians; healthcare technology experts; vendors; regulators public health organizations; healthcare strategic organizations (e.g., ONC, Dutch National ICT Institute for Healthcare (Nictiz), Canada Health Infoway, Australia’s National eHealth Transition Authority (NeHTA)); as well as other groups. The WG will focus on products for patient care topics such as:

  • Care structures
  • Care records
    • Clinical Context
  • Care transfer and referrals
  • Allergies, intolerances, adverse events reporting
  • Care plans
  • Care coordination
  • Health concerns and problems
  • Assessment scales

The products of the WG are designed to be usable in a broad range of standards, not only HL7v2, HL7v3 messages, but also CDA and clinical statements in general. The PCWG will also provide specifications using the principles and language of the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR).

The Work Group will develop specifications using the principles and language of the Services Aware Interoperability Framework (SAIF) Canonical Definition (CD) and the restrictions and specializations of
the HL7 SAIF Implementation Guide (IG) to ensure traceability from conceptual to logical to implementable specifications.
 When submitting artifacts or methodology to the HL7 SAIF IG the Work Group will develop this content in compliance with the principles and language of the SAIF CD.

Formal Relationships with Other HL7 Groups

Existing relationships with other HL7 Working Groups

Patient care has a long tradition of maintaining relationships with other working groups within HL7. This stems from the creation of Special Interest groups for clinical specialties, which obtained the Work Group status over the past several years. In addition, some other Work Groups have similar interest or work items for which it is effective to join efforts to share expertise, or the work crosses domains. In particular the following relationships exist:

  • Clinical Statement Work Group (CSWG). The clinical statement pattern is a cross domain design pattern, which is at the core of the Care Provision Domain Model. Patient Care contributes to the maintenance of this pattern and several change requests will also go through this channel. PDWG monitors the changes in clinical statement pattern in order to keep the Care Provision Domain Model current.
  • Domain Experts Steering Group, as part of the new hierarchical structure of HL7 as organization.
  • CBCC Community Based Collaborative Care. This group has a focus on care in the community / non-hospital based care and domain content often overlaps with Patient Care.
  • Child Health WG
  • Emergency Care WG
  • Structured Documents SDWG – and the CDA document series
  • CIC and the creation of domain analysis models related to patient care topics
  • PHER – Public Health and Emergency Response issues
  • EHR WG – collaboration around HER/PHR elements
  • Templates
  • Terminfo project
  • Vocabulary WG, via our vocabulary facilitator
  • MnM, via our modelling facilitator
  • CDS: the Order Sets model is one item of common interest with Clinical Decision Support
  • FHIR
  • DCM
  • CIMI

External relationships:

Informal relationships exist with the following external groups. The work is more or less harmonizing efforts via information exchange. IHE is using Care Record in one of their profiles. ISO and HL7 in future will file the DCM work as JIC project. Listing of external projects in which HL7 Patient Care WG is collaborating:

  • IHE nursing profile, different profiles
  • IHE Patient Care Coordination, Health Story
  • ISO DCM work


The PC planning process accommodates a variety of project needs including near term needs dictated by the members of the WG. Strategic planning accommodates future projects such as detailed clinical models and other work to support the broader mission of HL7. The scope for Patient Care is a subset of the healthcare delivery and management processes. The scope includes activities related to assessing and evaluating the patient/client/member, establishing the diagnosis/problem, developing and managing a plan of care/service/action, administering care or treatment based on the plan, documenting the administration of the plan of care, managing compliance and exception reporting, and reporting of clinical results/outcomes. The scope also includes defining how clinical information and pathways/protocols are supported in the communication as well as support of data exchange for concurrent/retrospective quality and/or outcomes analysis and management. The scope does not assume stewardship of messages generated by external HL7 workgroups. A goal of this committee is to continue to take advantage of and extend messages developed by other HL7 committees rather than develop redundant and independently maintained communication artifacts. Further ongoing responsibilities, projects and new ideas can be found in the Patient Care WG business plan, formalized in the 3 year plan. The idea of the Working Group is that this three year plan is updated regularly in order to manage the projects.

Last update 2013 8 21

Patient Care WG approved on 8/21/13