HL7 terms to better understand what is HL7. Z segments contain clinical or patient data that the HL7 Standard may not have defined in other areas. Essentially, it is the “catch all” for data that does not fit into the HL7 Standard message definitions. Z segments can be inserted in any message at any time, and Z segments can carry any data you want. In HL7 messaging, all Z segments within it start with the letter “Z”.
Z segments are one of the reasons why the HL7 Standard is sometimes called the flexible standard. The HL7 Standard is a framework for negotiation, and Z segments is an area ripe for negotiation between healthcare vendors and systems.
When using Z segments, it is important to have adequate documentation of what is included.
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