HL7 Belgium is the Belgian affiliate organisation to HL7. It was set up since June 2019 and has been approved in April 2020. 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.
All details about the activities of the HL7 Belgium activities and its working groups are communicated on the HL7 Belgium wiki pages.
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.
About HL7 and HL7-Belgium
Founded in 1987, Health Level Seven International (HL7) is a not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited standards developing organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive framework and related standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information that supports clinical practice and the management, delivery and evaluation of health services. HL7 is supported by more than 1,600 members from over 50 countries, including 500+ corporate members representing healthcare providers, government stakeholders, payers, pharmaceutical companies, vendors/suppliers, and consulting firms.
Level 7 refers to the seventh layer of the International Standard Organisation (ISO) Open System Interconnect (OSI) basic reference model (ISO 7498:1984). OSI is the standard model for networking protocols and distributed applications, which became a standard in 1983. HL7 was formed in 1987, at about the same time that EDIFACT (ISO 9735:1987) and SGML (ISO 8879:1986) became international standards.
More information here: www.hl7.org
The HL7 Belgium affiliate is being established, we are awaiting the final approval, expected by the end of February 2020.
HL7-Belgium Project Groups & Standards
HL7 Belgium Working groups focus on the realization of new standards, guidelines or implementation guides, often around new initiatives or new domains (f.e. HL7 FHIR).
Currently the following working groups are ongoing (started in Q1 2020):
After receiving several solicitations around Medication topics (from ePrescription to medication scheme), the Medication working group within HL7 Belgium has been established in March 2020. Participation is open, and the key topics to work on are being defined: on the short term on dispensing, possibly starting a longer-term topic - medication scheme on HL7 FHIR - if there is confirmed interest in this.
You can check out the meeting agenda (every other Tuesday at 11AM) and meeting minutes here.
- First focus on a more generic (non-medication) referral prescription (but working towards specifics like imaging, nursing, kine,…)
- Starting with the initial prescription/referral
- We are working with inputs from RIZIV/INAMI to stay in line with their approach (no architecture decisions but purely the content that we wish to exchange)
This workgroup strives to deliver HL7 FHIR artefacts (Profiles and supporting artefacts when needed).
You can check out the meeting agenda (every other Thursday at 4PM) and meeting minutes here.
Structured labo reporting. Check out the meeting agenda minutes and agenda here.
Please find here the implementation guide on the basic Belgian profiles and guidelines for the FHIR resources Patient, Practitioner, PractitionerRole, Organization, Observation, Provenance and AllergyIntolerance.
Security & Infrastructure:
From June 2020 until October 2020 an ad-hoc working group met on a weekly basis and has put together security recommendations when using HL7 FHIR (release 1). This document provides a first common approach to data exchange and security. The basic mechanisms are described throughout the document. You can consult this document here.
From the discussions that led to this document and from the feedback, the implementation guidance in this document must be further detailed and specified. For example, the implementation of Mutual Authentication or a common standardized specification for End-to-End encryption are possible - and necessary - next steps. This future work should build upon - and hopefully enrich - the international guidance and knowledge that exists in the HL7 FHIR community. Working group meetings are happening in 2021, having started on January 12 at 4.30PM and occur on a biweekly basis. Check out the progress here.
HL7 Belgium Academies
Here's an overview of the academies that are offered in 2021. They all take place online in English and are offered by an experienced trainer.
THE FOLLOWING COURSES ARE OFFERED ONLINE IN ENGLISH:
An introduction course to healthcare interoperability standards (HL7/IHE/DICOM)
13 September 2021
This training course describes the key areas in which standardization is needed (e.g. workflows, messages, documents) in order to achieve interoperability between software applications in healthcare. It also provides an overview of key characteristics of some of the existing standards in this area (e.g. CDA, DICOM, HL7 V2, HL7 V3, IHE and SNOMED).More info
HL7 FHIR Overview training course
14-15 September 2021
This training course takes place online over 3 days of 5 hours online or 2 days of classroom training. It offers a hands-on overview of the content of the HL7 FHIR standard. It is aimed at those involved with the design, development, implementation, deployment and support of systems that use (or will use) the HL7 FHIR standard.More info
HL7 v2 Overview training course
16-17 September 2021
This two-day course provides overview of the HL7 Version 2 standard with a focus on understanding it from an implementation perspective. HL7 version 2 is the main interoperability standard used to support workflows within a hospital setting. Knowledge of HL7 version 2 is effectively a requirement for all those interested in achieving systems interoperability in a healthcare setting.More info
IHE XDS/XDS-I Overview
21 & 22 September 2021
This two-day classroom training course focusses on Healthcare Information Exchange (HIE) using standards. Most of these international standards are based on IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise). As an standards development organisation IHE develops profiles for sharing electronic medical documents and images.More info
DICOM Overview training course
5 & 6 October 2021
This training course takes place online over 3 days of 5 hours. It offers a hands-on overview of the content of the HL7 FHIR standard. It is aimed at those involved with the design, development, implementation, deployment and support of systems that use (or will use) the HL7 FHIR standard.More info
Check out the Frequently Asked Questions on the HL7 International pages here and find out all what HL7 is about.