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ANSI Approves HL7 Version 3 Specifications

Several HL7 Version 3 (V3) Specifications Receive ANSI Approval

HL7 Initiates V3 Early Adopters Program to Gain Valuable Feedback from Users

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. July 14, 2004.

Several Health Level Seven (HL7) Version 3 (V3) Specifications have been approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), giving them normative status as American national standards.

The following HL7 Version 3 standards have already been approved by ANSI:

  • Scheduling, Release 1. This document defines the messages and related elements designed to communicate various events related to the scheduling of appointments for services and/or for the use of resources and associated master files.

  • Claims and Reimbursements, Release 1. This document defines the messages and corresponding elements pertaining to the invoicing (including authorization and eligibility verification), adjudication and payment (including adjustments and account queries) of Healthcare Services and associated master files.

  • Reference Information Model (RIM), Release 1. The RIM is the HL7 information model from which all other information models and messages in the V3 Standard are derived.

  • Refinement, Constraint and Localization to Version 3 Messages, Release 1. This document describes the processes whereby HL7 Version 3 message specifications may be refined, constrained and extended to support implementation designs, conformance profiles, and realm-specific standards. It also details the rules that underlie the development of Version 3 messages based on the RIM and Vocabulary Domain.

  • Shared Messages, Release 1. This document provides data on common messages such as acknowledgements shared across multiple domains.

  • XML Implementation Technology Specification - Data Types, Release 1. This document defines the V3 data types that will be used by all of HL7 V3 and onwards. It also defines the representation of HL7 V3 data types in XML, including the schema necessary to derive XML schemas for HL7 V3 Hierarchical Message Descriptions (HMD).

  • UML Implementation Technology Specification - Data Types, Release 1. The UML Data Types specification binds the V3 data types to the UML/OCL kernel types to allow for formally correct OCL constrains on the V3 data types, and to assist in implementation of the V3 data types.

Awaiting Approval

The following Version 3 specifications have passed HL7 ballot requirements and are awaiting ANSI approval:

  • Data Types Abstract Specification
  • Common Message Element Types
  • XML Implementation Technology Specification - Structures
  • Period Reporting of Clinical Trial Laboratory Data

Version 3 Early Adopters Program

In support of Version 3, HL7 has initiated a V3 Early Adopters Program to gain from users valuable feedback that might help shape future releases of the standards.

"The HL7 Early Adopters Program is essential to establishing a solid communication path between the implementers who are building implementations of the new standards, and the HL7 Technical Committees who created the standards," said Woody Beeler, HL7 Board member and co-chair of the Modeling and Methodology technical committee. "It will allow HL7 to both assist the implementers and to use their experience to improve the standard."

An example of a V3 early adopter is the National Health Service (NHS) National Programme for IT (NPfIT), which is responsible for major IT initiatives to support health care delivery in England. The NpfIT has chosen V3 as a base standard for its national and regional projects.

About Version 3

The Version 3 project represents a new approach to clinical information exchange. It is built from the ground up around a single object model, the HL7 RIM, and a rigorous UML-based methodology that ties model to messages and finally to the message's expression in XML syntax.

The V3 specification is built around subject domains, for each of which it provides storyboard descriptions, trigger events, interaction designs, domain object models derived from the RIM, hierarchical message descriptors (HMDs) and a prose description of each element. Implementation of these domains further depends upon a nonnormative V3 Guide and normative specifications for: data types; the XML implementable technical specifications (ITS) or message wire format; message and control "wrappers;" and transport protocols. HL7 anticipates that all outstanding core Version 3 specifications will be available later this year, and plans to release a comprehensive V3 package in the third-quarter of 2004, possibly in time for its September 26 - October 1 2004 plenary meeting in Atlanta, GA, USA.

More information on all of the Version 3 specifications can be found at:

About HL7

Founded in 1987, Health Level Seven, Inc. ( is a not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited standards developing organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive framework and related standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information that supports clinical practice and the management, delivery and evaluation of health services. HL7's more than 2,000 members represent over 500 corporate members, including 90 percent of the largest information systems vendors serving healthcare.

HL7's endeavors are sponsored, in part, by the support of its benefactors: Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., CAP Gemini Ernst & Young U.S. LLC, Documentum, Eclipsys Corporation, Eli Lilly & Company, the Food and Drug Administration, GE Medical Systems, Guidant Corporation, HIMS Solutions, Inc., IBM, IDX Systems Corporation, InterSystems, Kaiser Permanente, McKesson Information Solutions, Microsoft Corporation, Misys Healthcare Systems, NHS National Programme for IT, Oracle Corporation, Partners HealthCare System, Inc., Pfizer, Inc., Philips Medical Systems, Quest Diagnostics Inc., Science Applications International Corporation, Siemens Medical Solutions Health Services, the U.S. Department of Defense, Military Health System, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

International affiliates have also been established in 24 countries throughout the globe including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Southern Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.


Health Level Seven, Inc.
Jonathan Himlin
Tel: +1 (734) 677-7777


Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See details in the news story "HL7 Announces ANSI Approval of Several Health Level Seven V3 Specifications." General references in "XML in Clinical Research and Healthcare Industries."

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