Standard for improving emergency information interoperability: The HL7 data elements for emergency department systems

James C. McClay, Peter J. Park, Mark G. Janczewski, Laura Heermann Langford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background Emergency departments in the United States service over 130 million visits per year. The demands for information from these visits require interoperable data exchange standards. While multiple data exchange specifications are in use, none have undergone rigorous standards review. This paper describes the creation and balloting of the Health Level Seven (HL7) Data Elements for Emergency Department Systems (DEEDS). Methods Existing data exchange specifications were collected and organized into categories reflecting the workflow of emergency care. The concepts were then mapped to existing standards for vocabulary, data types, and the HL7 information model. The HL7 community then processed the specification through the normal balloting process addressing all comments and concerns. The resulting specification was then submitted for publication as an HL7 informational standard. Results The resulting specification contains 525 concepts related to emergency care required for operations and reporting to external agencies. An additional 200 of the most commonly ordered laboratory tests were included. Each concept was given a unique identifier and mapped to Logical Observation Identifiers, Names, and Codes (LOINC). HL7 standard data types were applied. Discussion The HL7 DEEDS specification represents the first set of common ED related data elements to undergo rigorous standards development. The availability of this standard will contribute to improved interoperability of emergency care data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-535
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Emergency medicine
  • Military medicine
  • Public health surveillance
  • Terminology as topic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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