What is Interoperability?

In the context of AHS and Connect Care, interoperability refers to the exchange and interpretation of information between the Connect Care Clinical Information System (CIS) and another system that functions independently. AHS prefers that interoperability be standards-based.

HL7 International

Health Level Seven International (HL7), a not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited standards developing organization, was founded in 1987 with the goal of providing a comprehensive framework and related standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information that supports clinical practice as well as the management, delivery, and evaluation of health services. (2)

The "Level 7" in the name Health Level 7 refers to Level 7 of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model of the International Standards Organization (ISO). (4) OSI Level 7 is the application layer.

HL7 V2

HL7 version 2 is an HL7 messaging standard that is used for data exchange in the clinical domain. (3)

Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR)

FHIR is an HL7 specification to enable interoperability. The excitement around FHIR within the web development community is that it uses RESTful web services and open web standards, such as Javascript Object Notation (JSON) and W3C Resource Description Framework (RDF).

Clinical Document Architecture (CDA)

CDA is an ANSI-approved standard that defines the the structure and semantics of "clinical documents" to standardize the exchange and interpretation of clinical documents between healthcare providers and patients. (5)

Related Resource(s):

HL7 Orientation

Introduction to HL7 Standards


FHIR Foundation

Standard ECMA-404: The JSON Data Interchange Syntax


The Health Information Standards Committee for Alberta (HISCA) provides oversight and coordination for the creation, adoption, and distribution of health data and messaging standards for use in Alberta's healthcare system.

Related Resource(s):

HISCA Standards


(1) Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). (n.d.). Interoperability in Healthcare. HIMSS. Retrieved 23-Mar-2022, from

(2) "About HL7." HL7 International, Accessed 23-Mar-2022.

(3) HL7 International. (n.d.). HL7 Version 2 Product Brief. HL7 International. Retrieved 24-Mar-2022, from

(4) HL7 International. (n.d.). Frequently Asked Questions. HL7 International. Retrieved 31-Mar-2022, from

(5) HL7 International. (n.d.). CDA® Release 2. HL7 International. Retrieved 31-Mar-2022, from