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An HL7 v2 Platform for Standards Development and Testing



Sandra I. Martinez, Robert D. Snelick


Development of healthcare data exchange standards has long been problematic, plagued with ambiguous and inconsistent requirement specifications. This situation leads to potential misinterpretation by implementers, thus limiting the effectiveness of the standard and creating artificial and unnecessary barriers to interoperability. Likewise, the ability to test implementations effectively for conformance to the standards is hindered. The current approach of standards development and test plan creation relies on word processing tools, meaning implementers must read and interpret the information in these documents and then translate it into machine processable requirements and test assertions. This approach is error prone—a better methodology is needed. We present a set of productivity tools in an integrated platform that allow users to define standards and test plans that result in machine processable artifacts. A testing infrastructure and framework subsequently uses these artifacts to create conformance testing tools automatically. We present and demonstrate the utility of a platform for developing standards, writing test plans, and creating testing tools. This end-to-end methodology is illustrated by describing a case study for the HL7 v2.6 Vital Records Death Reporting Implementation Guide.
Proceedings Title
HIMS'17 – The 3rd International Conference on Health Informatics and Medical Systems
ISBN 1-60132-459-6
Conference Dates
July 17-20, 2017
Conference Location
Las Vegas, NV, US


Healthcare Data Exchange Standards, Healthcare Information Systems, Interoperability, Standards Development, Testing.


Martinez, S. and Snelick, R. (2017), An HL7 v2 Platform for Standards Development and Testing, HIMS'17 – The 3rd International Conference on Health Informatics and Medical Systems, Las Vegas, NV, US, [online], (Accessed July 14, 2024)


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Created July 16, 2017, Updated April 7, 2022