Inventory of Health Care Information Standards. Health Level Seven (HL-7)


Health Level Seven (HL-7) formed the Secure Transactions Special Interest Group (SIGSecure) to address the development of secure HL7 transactions at its August 1996 meeting. This SIG will focus on the use of HL7 in communications environments where there is a need for authentication, encryption, non-repudiation, and digital signature. This group will direct its efforts on insuring the mechanisms are available for implementing a secure HL7 transactions and not on standardizing security policies. The HL7 organization is also interested in participating with the efforts of the Internet Engineering Task Force. A CommerceNet trial using email protocols (MIME) to encapsulate HL7 messages is being explored for feasibility.

SIGSecure will identify user requirements and a threat model, the services needed to meet those requirements, the mechanisms for providing those services, and the specific implementations for those mechanisms. The scope will be limited to providing network and Internet security mechanisms for HL7 transactions at the application level, independent of underlying transport. SIGSecure has a stated goal of leveraging existing standards to the maximum extent possible with a priority given to International, National (ANSI), and Publicly Available Specifications. It addition it will coordinate with other SDOs to avoid duplication and to promote harmonization.

Health Level Seven HL7 SIGsecure contacts (Co-Chairs):

Jack Harrington

Hewlett Packard Company

3000 Minuteman Road

Andover, MA 01910-1085

508-687-1501 [main office]

508-659-3517 [voice - direct]

508-686-1319 [fax]

Mary E. Kratz

University of Michigan Medical Center

B1240 Taubman Center

1500 E. Medical Center Drive

Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0308

313-763-6871 [voice]

313-763-0629 [fax]