Health Level Seven® (HL7®) International, the global authority on standards for interoperability of health information technology has published an implementation guide to extend the HL7 standard used by many hospitals into the blood center environment. The HL7 Orders and Observations Work Group approved the document during HL7’s 25thAnnual Plenary and Working Group Meeting in September 2011. The blood banking specification implementation guide, informally called Blood Banking HL7 (BBHL7), was developed by a multidisciplinary project team headed by former Blood Systems CIO Jonathan Harber.
The team was composed of standards experts, blood center IT and operations personnel, and representatives of blood establishment computer software (BECS) vendors. The blood banking specification should enable speedy and accurate data exchanges between blood center devices and systems, and eventually between blood centers and transfusion centers, thereby reducing transfusion errors and improving patient safety.
The HL7 standard is the most common data exchange standard used by hospitals and clinical laboratories. BBHL7 includes trigger events, message definitions, and data structures for the blood banking donor experience (donor registration, donor identification, mini-physical, medical history questionnaire, eligibility, phlebotomy, and product transport).