Overview of OIDs used in European HL7 artefacts
Copyright Ringholm bv © 2003, 2009. All Rights Reserved.
HL7 Version 3 artefacts use OIDs (unique Object IDentifiers, an ISO standard) to identify coding schemes and identifier namespaces. OIDs can be allocated by any organisation using a unique OID root. A single message can use OIDs from various sources and a single scheme can be identified by more than one OID (e.g. by an OID from more than one organisation). Once issued an OID is never withdrawn and always identifies the same scheme or object.
2. OID BasicsOIDs (Object IDentifier) are an ISO mechanism used to uniquely identify objects. For the formal definition of OIDs, see RFC 3001 - A URN Namespace of Object Identifiers, or Wikipedia.
Figure 1. Example OID tree
The basic principles of OIDs are best explained with the aid of an example.
3. OID RegistriesOID Registries contain OIDs and descriptions of the object identified by those OIDs. An OID Registry may be limited to OIDs allocated by one single organization, to ensure that it never reassigns a previously allocated OID to a different object. The OID registry may also have a larger scope and accept registrations of OIDs allocated by third party organizations.
Registration of an OID is not a precondition for the allocation or use of OIDs. Registration is recommended if an OID will be used outside of the confines of one's own organization.
Registration of an OID does not imply any statement of quality about the object (e.g. vocabulary, identification scheme) registered. The OID merely identifies the object. Inclusion of an OID (for a vocabulary) in a registry does not imply a right to access the associated coding scheme data which in many case is associated with copyright restrictions.
Global OID RegistriesLarge parts of the global OID tree can be browsed online at the OID Info website. This is the largest OID registry in existence. The HL7 organization (which has the OID root 2.16.840.1.113883) maintains an OID registry for HL7-allocated OIDs as well as OIDs relevant for use in HL7v3 artefacts. See the HL7 OID Registry page in the Members Only section of the HL7 website.
The remainder of this section documents the OID registration procedures of various European countries.
CH - SwitzerlandThe HL7 Switzerland affiliate organization (which has OID root 1.2.756.5.30 as well as 2.16.840.1.113883.2.5) allocates OIDs to its member organizations upon request. The OID registry can be found at Swiss OID register.
DE - GermanyThe HL7 Germany affiliate organization (which has OID root 2.16.840.1.113883.2.6) has allocated OIDs to objects and member organizations in the past, but has stopped doing so. All OIDs (formally speaking: eine Registrierungskennzahl von Informationsobjekten nach DIN 66334) for use in healthcare IT in Germany are allocated by DIMDI organization (the Deutsches Institut für Medizinische Dokumentation und Information within the 1.2.276.0.76 OID root. OIDs can be requested (for free) via DIMDI.
The OID registry can be found at DIMDI OID Verzeichnis.
ES - SpainThe HL7 Spain affiliate (which has OID 2.16.840.1.113883.2.19) has allocated OIDs to national coding systems and identification mechanisms. They have also developed an implementation guide for the use, and assignment, of OIDs in HL7 version 3 and CDA.
The OID registry can be found on the HL7 Spain website.
FI - FinlandThe HL7 Finland affiliate organization (which has OID root 22.214.171.1247) allocates OIDs to its member organizations upon request. There is no known country-specific OID registry.
FR - FranceThe HL7 France affiliate organization (which has OID root 2.16.840.1.113883.2.8) allocates OIDs to its member organizations upon request. There is no known country-specific OID registry.
IT - ItalyThe HL7 Italy affiliate organization (which has OID root 2.16.840.1.113883.2.9) allocates OIDs to its member organizations upon request. There is no known country-specific OID registry.
NL - NetherlandsThe HL7 Netherlands affiliate organization (which has OID root 2.16.840.1.113883.2.4) allocates OIDs to its member organizations upon request. All OID requests (for registration with HL7 Netherlands or HL7 International) should use the OID request form as found on the HL7 Netherlands website.
OIDs registered by the Dutch standards organisation NEN (1.2.528.1 and 2.16.528.1 OID trees) have been included in the HL7 Netherlands OIDs registry - where relevant to healthcare.
UK - United KingdomThe HL7 UK affiliate organization (which has OID root 2.16.840.1.113883.2.1) allocates OIDs to its member organizations upon request. OIDs can be found in the HL7 UK OIDs registry.
About Ringholm bvRingholm bv is a group of European experts in the field of messaging standards and systems integration in healthcare IT. We provide the industry's most advanced training courses and consulting on healthcare information exchange standards.