Section 2: Foundational Standards
Section 6: Rules and References

HL7 Version 3: Reference Information Model (RIM)


The HL7 Reference Information Model (RIM) is a critical component of the HL7 V3 family of standards. It is the root of all information models and structures developed as part of the V3 development process.



HL7 Version 3: Reference Information Model (RIM) may also go by the following names or acronyms:

"V3 Reference Information Model, R1", "V3 Reference Information Model, R2", "V3 Reference Information Model, R4", "V3 Reference Information Model, R6", "V3 Reference Information Model, R5", "V3 Reference Information Model, R3", RIM


  • Standards Development Organizations (SDOs)
  • Local and State Departments of Health
  • Clinical and Public Health Laboratories
  • Immunization Registries
  • Quality Reporting Agencies
  • Regulatory Agency
  • Payors
  • Healthcare IT Vendors
  • Healthcare Providers
  • Medical Imaging Service Providers
  • Emergency Services Providers
  • Healthcare Institutions (hospitals, long term care, home care, mental health)
  • Every Actual User of any Version 3 Product – including Clinical Document Architecture (CDA®), Messaging or Services


  • Forms the foundation for all information modeling within HL7
  • Results in models that serve as documents, data for services, and messages
  • Establishes an information modeling foundation that is relatively stable, able to support the representation of all concepts in the HL7 domain of interest, and is technology-neutral in order to allow implementation in a variety of environments as the users technology evolves


  • N/A


The Reference Information Model (RIM) is the combined consensus view of information from the perspective of the HL7 working group and the HL7 affiliates. The RIM is the ultimate source from which all HL7 Version 3 standards draw their information-related content.


The RIM, along with Data Types and Vocabularies are the foundation for all information modeling within HL7. The constrained models derived from these serve as documents, data for services, and messages. As such, they are a "part" of every HL7 Version 3 standard and have the same "customers" as do the standards defined from them.


The RIM is a static model of health and healthcare information as viewed within the scope of HL7 standards development activities. The RIM is essential to HL7’s ongoing mission of increasing precision of data. The RIM became an ANSI-approved standard in late 2003 and was published as an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard in September 2006. (Please note that the Reference Information Model is updated on a quarterly basis, with minimal changes through the HL7 harmonization process.)


Balloting Under ANSI Continuous Maintenance Process

This American National Standard is maintained using the continuous maintenance process. Comments or proposals for revision to any part of this standard may be submitted to HL7 at any time. Comments or proposals may be submitted online at at the V3 Proposals Database or in writing to the Associate Executive Director at Health Level Seven, Inc., 3300 Washtenaw Avenue Suite 227, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104-4261. Comments or proposals submitted in writing must identify the standard in question and include the submitter’s name, affiliation, telephone number, and e-mail address.


Modeling and Methodology


HL7 Version 3: Reference Information Model (RIM)


The versions of the RIM are published on the Reference Infrmation Model (RIM) page.