Content Standards

These standards relate to the data content within exchanges of information. They define the structure and organization of the electronic message or document’s content. This also includes the definition of common sets of data for specific message types.

HL7 v2

HL7’s Version 2.x (V2) is a widely implemented messaging standard that allows the exchange of clinical data between systems. It is designed to support a central patient care system as well as a more distributed environment where data resides in departmental systems.


The HL7 Version 3 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA®) is a XML-based document markup standard that specifies the structure and semantics of "clinical documents" for the purpose of exchange between healthcare providers and patients. It defines a clinical document as having the following six characteristics: 1) Persistence, 2) Stewardship, 3) Potential for authentication, 4) Context, 5) Wholeness and 6) Human readability.

Consolidated CDA (C-CDA) contains a library of CDA templates, incorporating and harmonizing previous efforts from Health Level Seven (HL7), Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE), and Health Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP). It represents harmonization of the HL7 Health Story guides, HITSP C32, related components of IHE Patient Care Coordination (IHE PCC), and Continuity of Care (CCD).

  • C-CDA Review - Find answers to frequently asked questions regarding C-CDA.
  • HIMSS Health Story Project - Learn about this group’s role in creating C-CDA and view their Roundtables and Resources to better understand and implement the CDA standard.
  • C-CDA Rendering Tool - Discover open-source tools available to improve the rendering of your C-CDA docuemtns.