Health Level 7 International (HL7) is a group dedicated to developing standards for the exchange of electronic health information. The organization's goal is to improve the interoperability of software applications used by the health care industry. It was founded in 1987 and accredited by the American National Standards Institute in 1994.
The "7" in the organization's name refers to Layer 7 in the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model. It is the final layer in the communication model the International Organization for Standardization developed for OSI. The standards address message and data exchange, decision support, rules syntax, visual integration of applications, insurance claims, clinical documents such as discharge summaries, product labels for prescription medication, electronic health records and personal health records.updated March 12, 2012