HL7 makes IP available for EHRs

By Mike Miliard
09:40 AM

LAS VEGAS – At HIMSS12 this past month, Health Level Seven International (HL7) announced a pilot program that will offer some of its intellectual property, free of charge, in an effort to spur further EHR implementations.

“HL7 is keeping its promise to lower the barriers to adoption of electronic health records by making portions of our valuable intellectual property freely available to our stakeholders,” said Charles Jaffe, MD, CEO of HL7.

“We believe that caregivers, academic centers and vendors will greatly benefit from this significant enhancement for access to valuable HL7 material,” he added.

Through the project, HL7 will open up no-cost licensing of its domain models (DAMs) and functional profiles. The offer is a first for the organization, officials say.

The DAM is a set of requirements that explore and analyze the business of a particular clinical “domain.”

Domain analysis is the first step in creating HL7 standards for a specific care or research environment. The domain analysis process produces documentation describing the stakeholders, activities, interactions and information for a particular domain and serves as the source of requirements used in the design of HL7 standards.

Standalone DAMs will be made available at no cost during this one-year pilot, including:
• HL7 Version 3 DAM: Cardiology; Acute Coronary Syndrome
• HL7 Version 3 DAM: Clinical Trials Registration and Results
• HL7 Version 3 DAM: Analysis Model: Vital Records

Functional profiles for the HL7 Electronic Health Record System Functional Model (EHR-S FM) will be available as part of the pilot, too, officials say. The model was the industry’s first standard approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to specify the functional requirements EHR systems.

HL7’s functional profiles outline the important features and functions of an EHR system, such as criteria to support functions including medication history, clinical decision support and privacy and security. Profiles that are available to support specific uses across the continuum of care include child health, behavioral health, long-term care, clinical research and records management and evidentiary support.

“HL7 standards are the most widely used in the industry,” said Don Mon, chair of HL7's board of directors, who noted that they "will be especially useful to physicians, nurses and other health care professionals, as well as health information management/technology professionals."

Offering them free, he added, "will further our mission to enhance the exchange, integration, sharing and retrieval of electronic health information around the world.”

The HL7 DAMs and functional profiles can be accessed at HL7.org.