HL7 Implementation Guide for Public Health Reporting Systems in Colombia

Ricardo Adolfo Aguilar Bolaños, Diego M. López


In the field of health information systems there are plenty of examples of legacy systems, designed to meet specific needs of healthcare organizations. Despite the urgent need of collaboration, these systems were not designed to interoperate with other systems. Internationally, the most widely used solution to solve the problem of health information systems interoperability is the design and implementation of standard interfaces, such as those proposed by Health Level 7 (HL7). This article proposes an HL7 Version 3 implementation guide for the interoperability of clinical information systems and public health in Colombia. Concretely, the guide addresses the Public Health Reporting process. The guide was designed considering the Health Information Systems – Development Framework (HIS-DF) methodology. Using the guide on a interoperability prototype in the context of the Colombian public health system (system SIVIGILA), demonstrated that the use of HL7 improves information processing, the expressiveness of shared information, and facilitates semantic interoperability of applications, compared to current systems in the country that interoperate (at best) through plain text files.


e-Health; Information Systems Integration; public health surveillance; SIVIGILA; HL7; XML; deployment guide.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18046/syt.v7i14.1011


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