HL7, IHTSDO work to integrate standards

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Health Level Seven (HL7) and the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation (IHTSDO), the provider of standardized clinical terminology, are working together to eliminate gaps and overlaps between the HL7 and IHTSDO standards.

The terms of the agreement complement both organizations' involvement in the Joint Initiative on SDO Global Health Informatics Standardization, which was established to enable common, timely health informatics standards by addressing counterproductive standardization efforts.

"While HL7 and SMOMED have worked together for several years, their collaboration was informal and without oversight. As a result, the independently developed standards were not harmonized and often were not easily integrated," said HL7 Chair-elect Bob Dolin, MD. "Coordinating the efforts of these two standards groups at the start, rather than at the end of the standards development process, is a major step forward in the industry's goal of seamless interoperability."

John Gutai, IHTSDO's chief technical architect, said the group looks forward to working in cooperation with HL7 and other standards bodies to achieve this, within the context of the ISO/TC215 Joint Initiative on SDO Global Health Informatics Standardization.