HL7 Version 2

  • Tim Benson
Part of the Health Informatics book series


HL7 Version 2 is the most widely used healthcare interoperability standard in the world. It is used in over 90% of all hospitals in the USA and is widely supported by healthcare IT suppliers worldwide.

At first sight, the HL7 V2 documentation may appear to be large and formidable, but it is based on a few basic principles, which are quite easy to grasp.

To understand some of the features of HL7, we need to go back to its origins in 1987. The initial focus of HL7 was on exchanging information about admissions, discharges, and transfers (ADT) within hospitals. The first version, HL7 V1.0 was issued a few months later. In the following year, 1988, HL7 V2.0 was published, and this included a major extension to add in messages for exchanging orders and reports for tests and treatment, based closely on the ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials) E.1238.88 standard. Version 2.1, which was the first widely used version, was published in 1991.


Data Type Trigger Event Component Separator Message Type Field Separator 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tim Benson
    • 1
  1. 1.ThatchamUK

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