HL7 produces the world’s most widely used standards for healthcare interoperability. Most of the leading suppliers use and support the development of HL7 standards across six continents.

The mission of HL7 is to provide standards for the exchange, management and integration of data that support clinical patient care and the management, delivery and evaluation of healthcare services. It covers the complete ‘life cycle’ of a standards specification – development, adoption, market recognition, utilisation and adherence.

HL7’s activities include: the development and publication of standards; the promotion of the use of those standards; the provision of education, conformance certification services and methodologies for extending standard; encouraging the use of HL7 world wide, and collaboration with developers of other healthcare and information technology standards in leveraging our respective skills, knowledge and standards.

HL7 was founded by a group of American hospitals and their suppliers in 1987. The original emphasis was on linking systems within the hospital, such as Patient Administration Systems (PAS) with laboratories, order communication systems and billing systems.

HL7 is an accredited standards development organisation, regulated by ANSI (American National Standards Institute). Over the years it has absorbed and built on other standards such as the ASTM E.1238 (the first standard for exchanging laboratory test results), and IEEE P1157 (MEDIX). It also collaborates with other healthcare standards groups such as ACR/NEMA DICOM (used for medical imaging), the European CEN/TC 251 and the International ISO 215 technical committees, with substantial cross-membership of these groups, as well as with general IT standards bodies including W3C, OMG and OASIS.

HL7 UK Members must be aware when downloading HL7 Standards or other material from HL7 International website that the use of all Material is governed by the terms of the current HL7 IP Policy. Prior to material download you will be prompted with the HL7 International Licence Agreement determining the use of the material.  Please read the terms applicable to use of the material carefully.

Please note that for UK members, HL7 International Ballot material cannot be downloaded directly from HL7 International. If you wish to obtain copies of standards currently being balloted, please contact the HL7 UK Technical Chair.

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