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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


Eric Browne, Montage Systems


David McKillop, Australian Digital Health Agency

 Jared Davison, Medical Objects


Donna Moore, RCPA


Joint Copyright © 2016-2018  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

Appendix 8 Simplified REF profile

Appendix 9 HL7v2 Virtual Medical Record

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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