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Health Information Technology Standards

Information Content Standards

Organizations that Develop Information Content Standards | Tutorials

Information Content Standards are related to the content of information exchanges. First level information content standards define the structure and content organization of the electronic message/document information content. An example of a first level information content standard is HL7 Reference Information Model (RIM).

The HL7 Reference Information Model (RIM) is a pictorial representation of the application domain data organization that identifies the life cycle of events. RIMs are information content standards, i.e., shared models of data organization between domains and, as such, are the models from which all domains create information exchange standards.

Second level information content standards define a ‘package’ of content standards (messages/documents). An example of a second level information content standard is HL7 – Continuity of Care Document (CCD).

Information Content Standards
Examples of Standards Development Organizations Domains
HL7 Healthcare, Public Health
ISO Patient Health Card, Medical Device Communication

HL7 - Health Level Seven

HL7 develops standards for the exchange, management, and integration of data that supports clinical patient care and the management, delivery, and evaluation of health care services.

The HL7 Reference Information Model (RIM) - an object model - is the cornerstone of the HL7 Version 3 information exchange message standard. The RIM is a large pictorial representation of the clinical data that identifies the life cycle of events that a message or groups of related messages will carry. It is a shared model between all the domains and as such is the model from which all domains create their messages. The RIM expresses the data content needed in a specific clinical or administrative context and provides an explicit representation of the semantic and lexical connections that exist between the information carried in the fields of HL7 messages. The RIM is essential to increasing precision and reducing implementation costs.

The Continuity of Care Document (CCD) specification is an XML-based markup standard intended to specify the encoding, structure, and semantics of a patient summary clinical document for health information exchange. CCD fosters interoperability of clinical data by allowing physicians to send electronic medical information to other providers without loss of meaning and enabling improvement of patient care. The CCD is a joint effort of HL7 and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International. The CCD represents a harmonization of ASTM’s Continuity of Care Record (CCR) and HL7’s Clinical Document Architecture (CDA).

In February 2007, HL7 and ASTM in a joint release announced that the CCD passed HL7 balloting and is endorsed by the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) as the harmonized format for the exchange of clinical information including patient demographics, medications, and allergies. The CCD and CCR were both selected as acceptable extract formats for clinical care summaries under the meaningful use criteria required for participation in the CMS EHR Incentive Program, which supports the adoption of electronic health record technologies.

PHDSC members are active participants of the HL7 Public Health and Emergency Response Work Group, HL7 Attachments Work Group, HL7 Security Work Group HL7 Electronic Health Record technical Committee, HL7 Education Committee and other HL7 committees and work groups. Most HL7 standards have been developed to serve the needs of clinical care of individual patients. PHDSC members work with HL7 to assure that the interests of public health are represented in the standards development process. This includes the development of standards for immunization information systems, vital statistics, environmental monitoring, public health surveillance & case investigation, outbreak detection & coordinated response, and food safety.

ISO - International Organization for Standardization

ISO is a network of national standards institutes from 140 countries working in partnership with international organizations, governments, industry, business, and consumer representatives.

ISO 215 Technical Committee on Health Informatics (ISO/TC 215) works on the standardization of health information and communications technology to allow for compatibility and interoperability between independent systems through the following Working Groups:

  • WG 1: Data Structure
  • WG 2: Messaging and Communications
  • WG 3: Health Concept Representation
  • WG 4: Security
  • WG 5: Health Cards
  • WG 6: Pharmacy and Medication
  • WG 7: Devices
  • WG 8: Business Requirements for Electronic Health Records

TThe ISO/TC 215 developed Domain Information Model for Point-of-Care Medical Device Communication and Common Objects for Patient Health Card data.

ISO/TC 215 Standards List