HL7 Belgium is the Belgian affiliate organisation to HL7, and is being set up since June 2019. The mission of HL7 Belgium is entirely complementary with that of the parent HL7 organisation.
HL7 Belgium sets out to:
- educate the Belgian healthcare community and healthcare information system developers about HL7 standards.
- promote effective and consistent implementation of HL7 standards in Belgium.
- identify and analyse Belgian healthcare business requirements for electronic communication of healthcare information.
- match Belgian national requirements with HL7 messages, and if necessary, identifying the need for Belgian specific messages, profiles and implementation guides.
- report to HL7 on any specific Belgian needs that are not met by existing HL7 standards.
- prototype and pilot with clinical and business validation.
- information about HL7 in a manner that is accessible and intelligible to a Belgian healthcare audience through: a website containing relevant documents and links; tutorials and meetings; occasional papers and publications.
- education and training for: systems developers; healthcare organisations; healthcare professionals; those concerned with compliance requirements and conformance certification.
- encouragement for subgroups concerned with Belgian interests in specific aspects of HL7 standards.
HL7 Belgium is a voluntary association of interested parties drawn from the supplier, user, provider and technical expert members of the Belgian healthcare community. It conducts its business according to the requirements of its affiliation agreement with HL7 and the aims expressed in its mission statement. Day-to-day management of HL7 Belgium is carried out by the sectoral standardisation operator Agoria ICT, that is also secretary of the international standardisation committees ISO/TC215 and CEN/TC251 Health Informatics. Technical subcommittees of the main group address matters of specific interest in relation to Version 2 implementation and Version 3 FHIR development. The whole HL7 Belgian community, at meetings held four times a year, takes decisions on matters relating to the Belgian interest. Decision-making is by consensus-forming in the first place, but ultimately by ballot based on the ISO rules. HL7 Belgium also collaborates with other developers of healthcare and information technology standards to optimise progress through sharing of skills and knowledge.
HL7 Belgium seeks to identify HL7 standards that are applicable to Belgian healthcare without change and those that require adaptations or national implementation guidelines to meet Belgian requirements. Where Belgian adaptations, profiles or guidelines are required, HL7 Belgium proposes solutions that meet the need for consistent national implementation, while avoiding unnecessary divergence from HL7 standards. To this end, HL7 Belgium feeds back national requirements and proposed solutions to its parent body.
HL7 Belgium is part of the Belgian eHealth standardisation group that also hosts IHE Belgium. Goal is to bring all Belgian stakeholders interested in eHealth interoperability together. If you want to know more about IHE Belgium, check it out here.