This HL7 parser utilizes HL7 2.8.1 definitions which are backwards compatible with all HL7 2.X versions. After parsing a message you can easily navigate the message by hovering over a field or expanding the definition table. This lets you easily parse, read, and view HL7 messages.
Please note, we do not store any data from this parser. In fact, no data is sent to our servers at all. This is a client-side only application.
Paste in a message below or choose from a sample message to parse.
Click on the segment's expand icon to see the full definition table
Click on the segment's copy icon to copy the segment's raw value
Quick Guide to Reading an HL7 Message
Health Level 7 (HL7) messages are a standard format for the exchange of electronic health information. Here's a quick guide to help you understand and read these messages effectively.
Understanding the Structure of HL7 Messages
An HL7 message is composed of a heirarchy of segments, fields, components, and subcomponents. Here's a quick breakdown of each of these:
Segments: HL7 messages are composed of segments, each serving a specific purpose. Segments start with a three-letter code identifying their type (e.g., MSH for Message Header).
Fields: Each segment is further divided into fields, separated by a delimiter (usually a pipe |). Fields contain the actual data.
Components and Subcomponents: Fields can be broken down into components (separated by a caret ^) and subcomponents (separated by an ampersand &).
Repetition: A tilde ~ is used to separate repeated fields.
Escape Characters: Certain characters, like ^, &, and ~, are used for special formatting. To use these as data, they are preceded by an escape character (\).
Reading HL7 Messages
Identify the Segment Types:Look at the first three letters of each line. For example, MSH (Message Header), PID (Patient Identification), OBR (Observation Request), etc.
Read the Message Header (MSH):This segment contains meta-information about the message, like the sending and receiving application, date/time of message, and message type.
Understand Fields in Each Segment:Refer to the HL7 standards for detailed descriptions of each field in a segment. For example, in the PID segment, the patient's name, date of birth, and patient ID are included.
Follow the Sequence:HL7 messages have a typical flow, usually starting with the MSH segment, followed by patient information (PID), and then clinical data segments like OBR.
Look for Key Clinical Data:In segments like OBR (laboratory order information) or OBX (observation/result), you can find the most relevant clinical data.
Check for Repeated Fields or Multiple Entries:Some segments may repeat or contain multiple sets of data (like multiple allergies in a single message).
Note Special Characters and Encoding:Be aware of escape characters and special formatting, especially in fields containing complex data.
Tips for Effective Reading
Use a Reference Guide:Keep an HL7 specification guide handy for reference to understand what each segment and field represents.
Use HL7 Parsing Tools:There are software tools available that can parse HL7 messages for easier reading and analysis.
Practice with Examples:Familiarize yourself with various types of HL7 messages by reviewing example messages.