Anyone getting involved with healthcare informatics will soon realise that an understanding of the HL7 standards is a key prerequisite. The HL7 standards promise a lot ... but unfortunately:

  • The learning curve is steep; I think that HL7 is a barrier for IT professionals entering the healthcare domain. I also suspect that many people involved in healthcare talk about HL7, without really appreciating the direction it is driving.
  • HL7 standards have diverted from mainstream IT architecture and design principles and practices - this is a personal opinion of course, and leads to the third point ...
  • HL7 standards are very contentions, or at least there seems to be a lot of contentious - and perhaps emotional debate - about HL7.

As someone who has [and is still going] through this journey, a useful contribution I can make is to document (or at least roadmap) the key parts of HL7 for a traditional IT architect.

A warning to readers ... clearly I am documenting my understanding of HL7 and my prejudices about their approach. Both may be quite wrong ... be warned!

So I will add content here in a rather random order ... apologies ... and start with the exciting subject of HL7 Data Types.

HL7 Data Types

To be continued ...