Health care systems today require some important changes. Many patients, doctors and other health professionals with right have suspicions that the health care system are managing available resources and information of interest in an optimal way, and as a result of that, health care that we receive isn’t of best possible quality. Considering the large investment in health systems, and the population with an increasing life expectancy, the mobility of patients and the emergence of new highrisk infectious diseases (HIV, SARS, etc.), modern systems of treatment must be proactive, efficient, economical and safe. To provide a basis for improving the quality of health care the system needs to meet several key preconditions and requirements. Professional groups from the world’s most advanced countries (USA, Japan, EU countries) have recognized the introduction of specialized computer and business solutions to national integrated information system in the field of health as a key component to improve the efficiency of the system, all in order to better manage the information of interest, and optimize the consumption and quality of resource management. Information systems must however meet very important common criteria that are based on openness, integration, security of data management, reliability and modularity. In this way it would ensure the vertical (within single health care institutions) and horizontal (between different separate institutions) interoperability of different solutions, and connectivity of different levels of health care within and outside the borders of individual states. Bearing in mind the requirements mentioned, this paper provides a short overview of Health Level 7 (HL7) as open information and communication technology (ICT) standard that should be adopted at the global level by professionals and users. Without quality standards that meet the needs of the business health systems, and ensure the applicability of existing and new solutions the above vision of integrated health care system is certainly not achievable. [Mater Sociomed 2009; 21(3.000): 170-174]

health information systems, HL7

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