HL7 is a very important data standard which can be used for many
purposes, including communication of laboratory requests and reports
between remote disparate computer systems. (We use it extensively in
Oxford. See http://oxmedinfo.jr2.ox.ac.uk/ )
A UK affiliate is being set up: this is excellent news.
More information about HL7 can be found at http://hl7.org/
Here is the press release.
> Dear Colleagues,
> This is a brief announcement of the setting up of a UK affiliate
> organisation to HL7:
> At a meeting on the 4th November, hosted by McKessonHBOC in Warwick,
> stakeholders from the vendor community, the clinical professions,
> other standards organisations and the NHS Information Authority
> agreed unanimously to create an organisation in the UK that would
> seek affiliate status to HL7 USA. The full charter and mission
> statement of the UK affiliate organisation will be published on
> the web when relationships with HL7 USA are finalised and the
> necessary UK infrastructure is in place. In the meantime, it was
> agreed that the general remit of HL7-UK would be:
> 1 Standards setting within the HL7 mechanisms: Influencing the
> development of future versions of HL7.
> 2 Co-ordination of future work in HL7 with future work in other
> standards bodies of relevance to the UK.
> 3 Localisation: enabling vendors, purchasers, users and
> consultants to implement existing versions of HL7 in the UK by
> sharing experiences/ reaching agreement on issues such as patient
> identification, address formats, local coding systems.
> 4 Support for implementers: Testing facilities, knowledge of
> other projects, provision of documentation, contact points etc.
> 5 Increasing awareness of HL7: publicising HL7 developments on
> the UK website, presenting HL7 issues at UK conferences,
> informing other local standardisation efforts.
> It was also agreed that two Technical subcommittees should be set up
> immediately to consider:
> 1 The local UK resolution of ambiguities present in HL7 V2.n
> arising out of the need either for customisation of the existing
> standard or absence of necessary detail within the standard.
> 2 How HL7 V3 might meet existing and future UK requirements and
> to make early representation to the parent body of any changes
> that may be considered necessary especially respect to the RIM,
> model development process, terminology and vocabularies.
> The technical subcommittees and the parent committee will be open
> to all comers based on a fee structure to be announced.
> The HL7 V2.x technical subcommittee will be chaired by Brian Love of
> NHS Information Authority. The other chairs will follow.
> Secretariat and web support for the group will be provided by
> organisations within the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge
> courtesy of Dr. Jonathan Kay of the Academy of Colleges
> Information Group.
> The interim chair of HL7-UK is to be Dr. Leo Fogarty of the
> Academy of Colleges Information Group. This appointment is to be
> reviewed at six months following the finalisation of the
> relationship with HL7 USA and the provision of the necessary
> infrastructure for HL7-UK.
> HL7-UK business will be conducted on an open list-server to be
> set up by the secretariat.
> The next full meeting of HL7-UK will take place in McKessonHBOC
> offices in London on 19th January 2000 - details to be announced.
> Negotiations are under way to set up a further meeting and
> associated presentations in Harrogate during HC2000.
> An early meeting of the technical subcommittee will be announced
> in due course.
> HL7-UK looks forward to working with the UK healthcare community
> in furthering the application of technology solutions to improved
> patient care.
> Leo Fogarty
> Chair HL7-UK
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