About: Health Level 7 (HL7) was founded in 1987 and is the only SDO (standards development organization) whose entire function is the healthcare domain.
Mission: To provide standards for interoperability to improve care, delivery, optimize workflow, reduce ambiguity and enhance knowledge transfer among stakeholders such as healthcare providers, government agencies, the vendor community and patients.
Definition: HL7 standards define messages and message exchange protocols that support clinical practice and management. Seamless data exchange between healthcare applications is essential to achieving high quality medical outcomes.
HL7 is responsible for creating flexible, cost-effective standards, guidelines and methodologies that provide interoperability between healthcare systems and the exchange of meaningful electronic health information.
The potential for HL7 is exciting because it is used throughout the world with 30 international affiliate organizations. I took an HL7 course with 99 fellow students, very few of whom were American. HL7 will be a major factor in the future for making PHI (protected health information) available globally. That is pretty mind-boggling.
Visit www.hl7.org/about for more information.