Introduction to HL7 Standards

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HL7 and its members provide a framework (and related standards) for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information. These standards define how information is packaged and communicated from one party to another, setting the language, structure and data types required for seamless integration between systems. HL7 standards support clinical practice and the management, delivery, and evaluation of health services, and are recognized as the most commonly used in the world. For more information about the HL7 standards process, please read Understanding the Standards Process

HL7 standards are grouped into reference categories:

All HL7 Standards can also be located by other classifications such as ANSI/ISO/HITSP approval and various search variables in our Master Grid.

HL7 encompasses the complete life cycle of a standards specification including the development, adoption, market recognition, utilization, and adherence. Please refer to our IP Policy for more information about how members and non-members can use the standards. For the latest published updates about HL7 standards, please visit

For information on how to use HL7's FHIR Trademarks that are consistent with our common mission, please refer to our FHIR Trademark Policy

To provide feedback on the standards, especially Standards for Trial Use (STU) see the Confluence page on Specification Feedback.

For historical reference to STU comments, see the Expired STU page.

As of 2016 May, the HL7 Governance and Operations Manual (GOM) was updated to reflect the naming of Standards for Trial Use. Prior to this time the term "Draft Standards for Trial Use" was in effect. You will see both DSTU and STU naming reflected in the listings of Trial Use Standards. Over the course of several years the trial periods on the older DSTU will expire and new STU are published.