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HL7 Reference Information Model

The Reference Information Model (RIM) is the cornerstone of the HL7 Version 3 development process. An object model created as part of the Version 3 methodology, the RIM is a large, pictorial representation of the HL7 clinical data (domains) and identifies the life cycle that a message or groups of related messages will carry. It is a shared model between all domains and, as such, is the model from which all domains create their messages. The RIM is an ANSI approved standard.

This site provides the RIM in various forms - Rose mdl file, XMI, Access data base and so forth. However, it usually does not have the most recent Vocabulary content. The most current Access data base for both RIM and Vocabulary is always available as a Design Repository ("rimRepos" download) from the HL7 Project Gforge site under the Design Repository Project

Versions of the HL7 RIM are available here only as Composite ZIP files that contain ALL relevant files for that version. The file names within these archives indicate the type of information available. See a listing of the naming structure, below.

Current Naming Convention

Specifics of file content within the archives can be found on the HL7 Wiki for most of the content.

The following coding is used for the model file names: DDDVVVVT

DDD - Domain - For the HL7 Reference Information Model, this value is always "rim".

VVVV - HL7 Version a four-digit sequence.

T - Type. This refers to the types of files available on the models page. Defined types are:

The type code for the overall composite archive is "c". Thus for RIM 2.38, the composite archive is rim0238c.zip. The contents of this archive is made up of the following file types:

  • a - Archive, a zip file holding a MIF archive (mif:package) file whose content is made up the complete current RIM, and change-elements for ALL prior RIM versions. Any given prior RIM can be extracted from this archive.
  • c - Composite, a ZIP file of ALL of the other ZIP files in this list.
  • d - Definition the current RIM and current vocabulary represented in "coremif" definition (DEFN) files as a "mif:staticModel" and "mif:vocabularyModel", respectively. These definitions can be opened for browsing with the RoseTree application.
  • f - Difference, a file (readable in html) that shows where the current RIM differs from the prior version.
  • g - Graphics, a set of files in Visio and GIF format that contain the graphic expressions for the current model.
  • i - XMI, an expression of the current RIM in the OMG UML 2.2 XMI standard. Includes the RIM xmi and a collection of "profiles" upon which the RIM is dependent.
  • n - Notes, complete set of notes and proposals from the RIM harmonization meeting that reviewed the changes that are incorporated in the current models.
  • r - readMe, a text file with notes about this version of the model and the files that are posted here.
  • t - Enterprise Architect file, the complete model as an EAP file suitable for loading into Enterprise Architect.
  • x - XML, a set of small XML files that will be used short-term (during 2012) to inform the V3 Generator of the RIM and data types versions to use for generation.