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Different Versions of HL7 Standards And Their Benefits

The health industry is taking steps to use technology in hospitals and clinics. This will not only improve the productivity of the hospitals, but patient care as well. Different patient health record software help improve the patient experience in hospitals and clinics. The use of technology can make the processes easy and error-free too. Moreover, the use of HL7 standards can help in improving the workflow of the healthcare industry by maintaining all the records.

Many hospitals and clinics have started taking advantage of HL7 integration. These standards come in handy during the communication processes and make it easy to share information regarding patients. To simply understand the concept of HL7, you can see it as a patient health record software that is used in the healthcare industry to add convenience for staff, patients, and medical practitioners as well. Electronic health record vendors have released these standards to improve clinical efficiency.

Different versions of these standards are available, which help in improving the efficiency and productivity of the healthcare industry. Different clinics and hospitals are using HL7 versions according to their requirements. According to the current situation, the (Health Level Seven) HL7 international group has released data exchange standards that include V2, V3, CDA, and FHIR. In this article, you will get to know how these standards are different from each other and what benefits they contain.

Versions & Benefits of HL7 Standards

The healthcare domain has got a lot of technological advancements. Among all these, the most beneficial one is the use of HL7. This was not possible without the contribution of electronic health care vendors as they have done all the hard work to achieve this milestone. Nonetheless, the use of these standards has made it easy for doctors to improve patient care as they can access the patient’s records whenever required.

So, without further ado, let’s have a look at the different versions and the benefits that they are providing to the medical industry.

HL7 V2

The most common and widely used messaging standard for healthcare is version 2 of HL7. This version is a messaging standard to share the clinical records of patients between systems. In this technologically advanced world, it acts as a support for distributed environment and improving the central patient care system as well. Consequently, the use of HL7 in the clinical industry is known to achieve interoperability, but version 2 is not the ultimate solution. It provides great benefits such as:

  • Support for almost all the interfaces available in the market.
  • The implementation costs are not high.
  • Provides a compatible framework.

HL7 V3

This version has been developed to overcome the issues available in the previous version. The goal of making V3 was to create a better version that could solve the problems occurring when exchanging information through V2. It provides a complete set of data types and messages. This makes it easy to understand the document that has been exchanged. Have a look at the benefits of version 3 of HL7 listed below:

  • Supports universal applications so that the regional requirements are met.
  • Represents data consistently across numerous domains of HL7.
  • Ease of implementation with the latest technology.


CDA stands for Clinical Document Architecture. This is not a separate version of HL7 but a part of V3. It mainly focuses on clinical documents. CDA is a markup standard that takes care of the structure of the clinical documents. Like there is a structure to follow when you are writing a formal letter. Clinical Document Architecture defines some characteristics that must be available in the shared document. Here are the benefits of using CDA:

  • Support multiple applications.
  • Exchange of documents that involve patient care.


FHIR stands for Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources. If you want to use the best characteristics from the above three versions of HL7 then, FHIR can serve you. It is the latest working standard of HL7 and the most improved. Clinics and hospitals use this standard for the electronic exchange of healthcare documents. Furthermore, the design of FHIR is based on modular components that are called resources. Have a look at the benefits of FHIR listed below:

  • FHIR is easy and can be implemented quickly.
  • Specifications are concise and easy to understand.


HL7 standards has got different versions that can be very helpful as far as clinical efficiency is concerned. Consequently, these standards are easy to implement and helpful in improving patient care.

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