Health Level Seven opens S'pore affiliate

The local chapter will match the requirements of Singapore's healthcare bodies with international standards and develop training programs, to enhance patient care in the country.

Health Level Seven (HL7), a non-profit standards organization for the healthcare sector, has opened its Singapore chapter.

Launched Friday, HL7 (Singapore) is tasked to support the development, promotion and implementation of standards that meet the needs of local healthcare organizations, professionals and IT practitioners working in the sector.

HL7 standards are designed to provide interoperability that improves healthcare delivery, optimizes workflow, reduces ambiguity and enhances knowledge transfer among healthcare providers, government agencies, the vendor community, fellow standards developing organizations (SDOs) and patients. Most SDOs in healthcare produce standards for healthcare domains such as pharmacy, medical devices or imaging, while HL7's domain includes clinical, research and administrative data.

Accredited by the American National Standards Institute, HL7 has over 2,300 members from around 500 organizations, which includes 90 percent of the information systems vendors serving healthcare.

Fong Choon Khin, chairman of HL7 (Singapore), noted in a statement last week that Singapore hospitals and various healthcare organizations are increasingly implementing new technologies in their operations.

He said: "There is a need to ensure these different IT systems work synergistically to optimize workflow, minimize ambiguity and reduce redundancy in processes, thus achieving process, semantic and technical interoperability.

"Through this new Singapore affiliate, we hope to actively engage local healthcare users, providers and product suppliers in adopting a common set of standards for healthcare systems that will bring about a seamless exchange of information, such as administrative and clinical data, which goes a long way in enhancing patient care delivery across the care continuum."

On top of matching Singapore's national requirements with HL7 standards, the local chapter will also develop Singapore-specific messages, profiles and implementation guides where necessary.

HL7 (Singapore) is offering its first technical training course to develop skills for the Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) and Continuity of Care Document (CCD). According to the body, registration and program details will soon be available on its Web site.