Parse as HL7 directive

The PARSE-AS-HL7 directive is for parsing Health Level 7 Version 2 (HL7 V2) messages. HL7 is a messaging standard used in the healthcare industry to exchange data between systems.


parse-as-hl7 :column [depth]

The column contains HL7 V2 messages, v2.1 through v2.6.

depth indicates the depth at which JSON object enumeration terminates.

Usage Notes

This is an example of an HL7 V2 message in a record:

MSH|^~\&||.|||199908180016||ADT^A04|ADT.1.1698593|P|2.6 PID|1||000395122||LEVERKUHN^ADRIAN^C||19880517180606|M|||6 66TH AVE NE^^WEIMAR^DL^98052||(157)983-3296|||S||12354768|87654321 NK1|1|TALLIS^THOMAS^C|GRANDFATHER|12914 SPEM ST^^ALIUM^IN^98052|(157)883-6176 NK1|2|WEBERN^ANTON|SON|12 STRASSE MUSIK^^VIENNA^AUS^11212|(123)456-7890 IN1|1|PRE2||LIFE PRUDENT BUYER|PO BOX 23523^WELLINGTON^ON^98111|||19601||||||||THOMAS^JAMES^M|F|||||||||||||||||||ZKA535529776

Data in an HL7 V2 message is organized hierarchically as:

  • Message = { Segment, Segment, ... Segment }

  • Segment = { Field, Field, ... Field }

  • Field = { Component, Component, ... Component }

  • Component = { Sub-Component, Sub-Component, ... Sub-Component }

Each line of an HL7 V2 message is a segment. A segment is a logical grouping of fields. The first three characters in a segment identify the segment type. In the above message, there are five segments: the MSH (message header); the PID (patient identification); two NK1 (next-of-kin) segments; and the IN1 (insurance).

Each segment consists of fields. A field contains information related to the purpose of the segment, such as the name of the insurance company in the IN1 (insurance) segment. Fields are typically (but not always) delimited by a | character.

Fields can be divided into components. Components are typically indicated by a ^ character. In the above example, the PID (patient identification) segment contains a patient name field containing LEVERKUHN^ADRIAN^C which has three parts: last name (LEVERKUHN); first name (ADRIAN); and middle initial (C). Components can be divided into subcomponents. Subcomponents are typically indicated by an & character.

Parsing the above message using the directive will generate a record that has flattened HL7 V2 components and all fields converted to JSON. Further parsing can be achieved with the PARSE-AS-JSON directive.


Applying this directive to the above message:

parse-as-hl7 :body

results in a record of this form:

Once each segment has been converted into JSON, you can apply PARSE-AS-JSON or JSON-PATH directives on the record.

Created in 2020 by Google Inc.