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The HL7 Fundamentals Course is Fundamentally Different

[fa icon="calendar"] Aug 3, 2018 11:07:26 AM / by Sadhana Alangar, PhD

apple-desk-laptop-6565A Little About HL7

HL7's mission is to provide standards that empower global health data interoperability. The organization and its volunteer members develop standards for the exchange, integration sharing and retrieval of electronic health information.

For example, let's assume that you have an emergency medical situation and you visit your local hospital. When checking in, you fill out a form with your personal details, insurance information and past medical history. The staff at the front desk enters this data into the hospital information system. You meet with the doctor who orders a series of tests to make an informed assessment of your medical condition. The results of these tests are also entered into the hospital information system. HL7 standards are used to transmit this clinical and administrative information across the hospital information system.

HL7's primary category of standards are the most frequently used. These include Version 2 
(V2.x), Version 3 (V3), the Clinical Document Architecture (CDA®) and HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®). As the Director of Education, I'm often asked if HL7 offers a course that gives an overview of these standards. If you are new to HL7 and our family of standards, the HL7 Fundamentals course is for you!

The History of HL7 Fundamentals

The HL7 Fundamentals course was originally created in Spanish in 2006 by Fernando Campos and Diego Kaminker of HL7 Argentina. The Spanish version has been taught in 19 countries in Central and South America, the Caribbean, Mexico and Spain.  

The course was translated into English in 2008 and offered by HL7 International. More than 6000 students have taken the Spanish and English editions of the course since its inception. The course has also been translated into Japanese and Portuguese.

Goals of the HL7 Fundamentals Course

  • OPPORTUNITY: Create a cost effective and affordable way to give healthcare IT professionals across the globe the opportunity to learn about HL7 standards so they can use them in their implementations.
  • OUTREACH: Allow HL7 to reach professionals in countries where there is limited HL7 education available and bring them into the HL7 community. Scholarships are available for students from non-affiliate countries. See pricing and details by clicking here.

What to Expect

HL7 Fundamentals is a 15-week online course that is instructor led and tutor assisted. Learning takes place through reading materials, forum discussions with peers, tutors and instructors. Assignments are in the form of quizzes, exams, practical exercises and applied projects. The course is not based on pre-recorded videos or PowerPoint slides. HL7 Fundamentals is fundamentally different because students learn by doing. 



  • Unit 01: Introduction to Healthcare Interoperability
  • Unit 02: Controlled Vocabulary: LOINC, SNOMED CT
  • Unit 03: UML and XML

HL7 V2.X

  • Unit 04: Intro to HL7 , V2 Data Types
  • Unit 05: ADT, Orders, Observations
  • Unit 06: HL7 V2.x Implementation, Messaging Profiles
  • Unit 07: V2.x XML

HL7 V3

  • Unit 08: Intro to HL7 V3
  • Unit 09: V3 Reference Information Model
  • Unit 10: V3 Data Types
  • Unit 11: From the Model to the Message


  • Unit 12: Intro to CDA R2
  • Unit 13: CDA Body And Header
  • Unit 14: CDA Entries / Implementations Guide


  • Unit 15: Introduction to FHIR

If you're thinking HL7 Fundamentals might be for you or one of your colleagues, our last course for 2018 starts August 9. Registration closes on Monday, August 6. To learn more, and to register, please visit: 

If you have any questions about the course or any HL7 education offering, contact me at

Topics: FHIR, HL7 education, HL7 Affiliates, CDA, HL7, Version 2, interoperability, Version 3

Sadhana Alangar, PhD

Written by Sadhana Alangar, PhD

Director of Education, HL7 International

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