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Subject: OASIS Member News- HL7 to Release First XML-based Standard for Healthcare

Health Level Seven, Inc.

				Contact:	Karen Van Hentenryck
(734) 677-7777
For Immediate Release

HL7 to Release First XML-based Standard for Healthcare

Ann Arbor, Mich.*October 4, 2000--Health Level Seven, Inc. (HL7)
successfully balloted what it believes to be the first XML-based standard
for healthcare-the Clinical Document Architecture (CDA). The CDA, which was
until recently known as the Patient Record Architecture (PRA), provides an
exchange model for clinical documents (such as discharge summaries and
progress notes)-and brings the healthcare industry closer to the realization
of an electronic medical record. The CDA Standard is expected to be
published as an ANSI approved standard by the end of the year. 

By leveraging the use of XML, the HL7 Reference Information Model (RIM) and
coded vocabularies,  the CDA makes documents both machine-readable-so they
are easily parsed and processed electronically-and human-readable-so they
can be easily retrieved and used by the people that need them. CDA documents
can be displayed using XML-aware Web browsers or wireless applications such
as cell phones, as shown by Nokia at the HIMSS 2000 demonstration.

The CDA is only the first example of HL7's commitment to the advancement of
XML-based e-healthcare technologies within the clinical, patient care
domain. Along with the CDA, HL7 is developing XML-based Version 3 messages.
These Version 3 messages enhance the usability of HL7 by offering greater
precision and less optionality, conformance profiles that will help
guarantee compliance, coded attributes linked to standard vocabularies, and
an explicit, comprehensive, and open information model-the HL7 RIM. All
this, packaged in a standardized XML syntax for ease of interoperability.

In 1999, HL7 also successfully balloted a recommendation for sending V2.3.1
messages using XML encoding.  In 2001, HL7 will ballot, as a normative
standard, a methodology for producing HL7 approved DTDs for Version 2.4 and
previous versions.  

"We want to dispel the notion that XML alone offers an alternative to  HL7,"
said Stan Huff, chair of the HL7 board of directors. "XML is an encoding
that complements the semantic content provided by the HL7 RIM, allowing
users to exploit all the possibilities of the Internet. The extensibility
inherent in XML is resulting in an explosion of schemas and DTDs from
diverse sources, which actually decreases the ability to provide plug and
play applications. The development of a model-based, standardized and
industry-accepted application of XML, as provided by HL7, will help decrease
the cost of integration, and improve the reliability and consistency of
communications between disparate systems and enterprises."

HL7's history with the Web and XML stretches back to the inception of the
technologies. The organization is a long-standing and active member of the
World Wide Web Consortium-the creators and keepers of XML. It has also
exchanged sponsor memberships with OASIS, a non-profit, international
consortium that operates XML.org, a global XML industry portal used to
collect and distribute XML schemas.

About HL7
Founded in 1987, Health Level Seven, Inc. (http://www.HL7.org) is a
not-for-profit, ANSI-Accredited Standards Developing Organization that
provides standards for the exchange, management and integration of data that
supports clinical patient care and the management, delivery and evaluation
of healthcare services. Its 1,800 members represent over 400 corporate
members, including 90 percent of the largest information systems vendors
serving healthcare. HL7 international affiliates are active in Australia,
Canada, China, Finland, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, The Netherlands, New
Zealand, Southern Africa, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. HL7's endeavors are
sponsored, in part, by the support of its benefactors: Agilent Technologies,
CAP Gemini Ernst & Young U.S. LLC, IBM Global Healthcare Industry, IDX
Systems Corporation, IMRglobal, Johnson & Johnson, McKessonHBOC, Quest
Diagnostics Inc., Shared Medical Systems (SMS) and the U.S. Department of
Veterans Affairs.

Kathleen Yanik
Director of Communications
Health Level Seven 
3300 Washtenaw Ave., Suite 227
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4261
Phone: (734) 677-7777
Email:   kyanik@hl7.org

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