Health Level Seven® or HL7® is one of several ANSI accredited Standards Developing Organizations (SDO) responsible for national standards used by the health care industry. Most SDOs produce standards (sometimes called specifications or protocols) for a particular healthcare domain such as pharmacy, medical devices, imaging or insurance (claims processing) transactions. HL7® International’s domain is clinical and administrative data. Many of HL7®’s Standards are also ISO TC-215 (Medical Informatics) Standards. ISO TC-215 both adopts specific HL7® International Standards and also works with HL7® International to jointly develop or modify HL7® standards.
HL7® International is headquartered in Ann Arbor, USA. Health Level Seven is a not-for-profit volunteer organization – like most of the other SDOs. Its members – providers, vendors, payers, consultants, government groups and others who have an interest in the development and advancement of clinical and administrative standards for healthcare – develop the standards. Like all ANSI-accredited SDOs, Health Level Seven adheres to a strict and well-defined set of operating procedures that ensures consensus, openness and balance of interest.
The HL7® Standards are an evolving and expanding body of work prepared by the members of HL7®. They are protectable as works of copyrightable authorship under applicable US and international copyright principles. Consistent with these principles, HL7® asserts and holds domestic and international copyrights to the Standards. Recognizing that Standards are the work product of the membership of HL7®, and that HL7® is the collective representative of all of the member’s interests, these copyrights are asserted and held by Health Level Seven® International in its capacity as the representative of its total membership. All members of HL7® have and will continue to possess the usage rights to the HL7® Standards as authorized by the applicable HL7® member agreements.
Members of Health Level Seven are known collectively as the Working Group, which is organized into Technical Committees (TCs) and Special Interest Groups (SIGs). The technical committees are directly responsible for the content of the Standards. Special interest groups serve as a test bed for exploring new areas that may need coverage in HL7®’s published standards. A list of the technical committees and special interest groups as well as their missions, scopes and current leadership is available on the HL7® website.
HL7® International includes more than 2,300 members represent approximately 500 corporate members, which include more than 90 percent of the information systems vendors serving healthcare. HL7® collaborates with other standards developers and provider, payer, philanthropic and government agencies at the highest levels to ensure the development of comprehensive and reliable standards and successful interoperability efforts.