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HL7 Australia Standard Document - Current Draft

Sponsored by:

The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA)/HL7 Australia 

HL7 Australia Orders and Observations Co-chairs:

Michael Legg, RCPA and Michael Legg & Associates

Andrew McIntyre, Medical Objects


Jared Davison, Medical Objects

David McKillop, Australian Digital Health Agency


Eric Browne, Montage Systems

 Brett Esler, Oridashi


Vanessa Cameron, RCPA


Joint Copyright © 2016-2020  Health Level Seven International ® and Health Level Seven Australia Inc ABN 35 556 933 588 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The reproduction of this material in any form is strictly forbidden without the written permission of the publishers.

HL7 International and Health Level Seven are registered trademarks of Health Level Seven International.

Questions or comments regarding this document should be directed to Michael Legg ( or Andrew McIntyre (


Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2 Patient Administration for Pathology

3 Datatypes

4 Observation Reporting

5 Observation Ordering

6 Identifiers

7 Patient Referral

Appendix 1 Parsing HL7v2

Appendix 2 Rendering of reports and display format

Appendix 3 Common Errors

Appendix 4 HL7 Code Tables 

Appendix 5 Conformance statements

Appendix 6 Example messages

Appendix 7 Significant changes (Informative)

Appendix 8 Simplified REF profile (Normative)

Appendix 9 HL7v2 Virtual Medical Record (Normative)

Index of Tables   

Table 1-1. Message Element Attributes

Table 1-2. Usage Conformance Testing Recommendations

Table 6-1. Identifiers examples  

Table of Figures   

Figure 2-1. HL7 message segments

Figure 3-1. HL7 data types by category

Figure 3-2. Subcomponents of order sequences

Figure 5-1. RU and RO usage (example)

Figure 5-2. RQ and RO usage (example)

Figure 5-3. Example of two child orders




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  1. Appendix 2 - HTML Display format
    Do we need a corresponding Appendix for PDF rendering
    1. Meeting on 30 August decided to add this to Appendix 2.

  2. Under the most recent version of the Affiliate agreement which I have been able to locate (version 7.6 applicable from January 2014 to December 2015), the copyright in a localization is jointly owned by HL7 Australia and HL7 International.  The principal route of distribution would be through HL7 Australia, rather than HL7 International and appropriate licensing arrangements for Australian access and use need to be established that are additional and complementary to those of HL7 International.  Simply pointing back to the HL7 website for a licence agreement (which is not at that location and not applicable to this document) is not satisfactory.  If this turns out to be an ïmplementation guide rather than a localization, it becomes "Other Material Produced by the Affiliate" and HL7 Australia would own all the copyright (but would also be restricted in other ways).

    Relevant provisions of the Affiliate Agreement include:

    6. Rights of the Affiliate

    6.9 Localization
    6.9.1 Subject to section 7 and section 11 (Dispute resolution???), HL7 International hereby grants the Affiliate the exclusive right to create, reproduce, distribute and control the use of Localizations in its Territory.
    6.9.2 The Affiliate is authorized to enter into formal agreements with third parties (including but not limited to other Affiliates) to create, reproduce, publish, and distribute Localizations, provided the Localizations are balloted by the membership of the Affiliate, where deemed appropriate by the Affiliate.
    6.9.3 The Affiliate is authorized to offer free open access to its Localizations for use in its Territory.
    6.10 Other Material Produced by the Affiliate
    6.10.1 The Affiliate may produce, distribute and author in its name and under its copyright, newsletters, minutes, implementation guides, tutorial manuals, and other materials relating to HL7 International Materials, provided that, to the extent that any such material includes excerpts of HL7 International Material, the Affiliate’s use of such excerpts shall be subject to the applicable obligations set out in section 7.

    7.  Obligations of the Affiliate

    7.4 Localization
    7.4.1 The Affiliate is responsible for all costs incurred by the Affiliate in producing and distributing Localizations.
    7.4.2 Any Localization produced by or for an Affiliate shall: Not involve alteration of original HL7 International Material other than to the minimum extent necessary to meet the unique local requirements within the Affiliate’s Territory. Be developed in conformance with applicable localization rules. Be done as a work under a copyright jointly owned by HL7 International and the Affiliate. Bear all legends and copyright notices from time to time required by HL7 International. Be delivered to HL7 International prior to its being released more widely by the Affiliate. Be balloted according to the Affiliate's balloting rules, if applicable.
    7.4.3 For the avoidance of doubt, HL7 International shall not have the right to pre-approve Localizations, or amendments to Localizations, but shall be entitled to enforce its rights under this Agreement (e.g., by adding any notices or disclaimers required).
    7.4.4 The Affiliate hereby grants HL7 International a fully paid, non-exclusive license to distribute during the Term any Localization produced by or for the Affiliate where such license is subject to any reasonable conditions imposed by the Affiliate at the time the Localization is Registered with HL7 International, and provided that HL7 International shall:
    (a) acknowledge the Affiliate's co-ownership of the copyright in the Localization, and
    (b) preserve any notices and legends reasonably required by the Affiliate and not inconsistent with this Agreement.

    8 Proprietary Rights
    8.1 The Affiliate agrees that no original HL7 International document may be altered without the written authorization of HL7 International, except as provided for in this Agreement.
    8.2 No local change or additions to the HL7 Protocol Specifications shall be made without the written approval of HL7 International, except for the production of Localizations in accordance with section 6.9.

    Localization. Work product made by modifying, constraining and/or supplementing HL7 Protocol Specifications, HL7 Educational Materials and /or Other HL7 Material to meet the specific needs within the Affiliate’s Territory but not including a Translation.

    Note - the HL7 International GOM, By-Laws and IP Policy are also referenced in the Affiliate agreement and also bear on the respective parties' obligations. Whilst HL7 Australia may have 


  3. Do we need a little story that sets out what is trying to be done and references the Affiliate Agreement although this was not public as I understood it.

  4. We have been implementing a validation tool. We have noted a few gaps/issues in the spec…


    1) 2.2.1 PID - patient identification segment

    a. In table, make PID-1 mandatory, not optional as the definitions states “it shall be one…”

    Definition:  This field contains the number that identifies this transaction.  For the first occurrence of the segment, the sequence number shall be one, for the second occurrence, the sequence number shall be two, etc.

    2) 2.2.2 PV1 - patient visit segment

    Same point as (1) for PV1-1

    3) RF1

    In the RF1 Segment, the two EI fields are too small (examples also are longer than 30)

    1. RF1-6 Field length of 30 is too small, should make it 250
    2. RF1-11 Field length of 30 is too small, should make it 250
    3. And RF1-6 also has this statement – do we need to constrain the first field to 15 chars?

    “The first component is a string of up to 15 characters” - change this?

    4) Identifiers

    a) Key is wrong, should be DVW

    DVA card type: DVG = white; DVO = orange; DVG = gold.

     b) Are these examples correct?  How many other codes will be allowed here in table 0363?




    1. All these have been resolved in their respective areas.