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Specification Lifecycle


Project Initiated

Step 1. Initiating a project to develop a specification begins when it has formally been accepted as an HL7 project. Going forward, the specification’s development will comply with HL7 and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) rules and processes.


Comment Period

Step 2. The time period when an Implementation Guide or other specification is open for HL7 member public comment. This time period is called is called In-Ballot. There are 3 regular comment periods annually, each one preceding an HL7 Work Group Meeting.

Occasionally HL7 opens additional comment periods outside that typical cadence. These “out of cycle” ballots are announced within the HL7 community.


Comment Resolution

Step 3. After ballot, the comments received are reviewed and dispositions are established for each, which may involve changes to the specification. This process is called Reconciliation.



Step 4. An Implementation Guide or other specification that is ready for use, and is planned to have future maintenance releases or is already stable and known to be used. In this state it is known as an Active Standard.



Step 5. An Implementation Guide or other specification can be Retired when it has no current or planned standards development activity within the community; may no longer be in use, or when it should not be considered for new implementations in systems.