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HL7 version 3. OID management. Scope: OID management for in-memory object processing purposes. Slide contents published under the Creative Commons / Attribute-Share Alike license Source: www.ringholm.de/download/HL7v3_implementation.zip. How do I get hold of an OID?. Abstract root.

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hl7 version 3

HL7 version 3

OID management

Scope: OID management for in-memory object processing purposes

Slide contents published under the Creative Commons / Attribute-Share Alike license

Source: www.ringholm.de/download/HL7v3_implementation.zip

how do i get hold of an oid
How do I get hold of an OID?

Abstract root


joint-ISO-CCITT (2)

ISO (1)

country (16)


organization (3)


authority (1)

standard (0)

country (16)

X.500 identifiers

numeric country

code in ISO 3166

ICD in

ISO 6523

numeric country

code in ISO 3166

number of

ISO standard

US (840)

DOD (6)

CA (124)

US (840)

CA (124)


Organizations (1)

SomeOrg (123456)



Internet (1)

Nortel (113533)

Netscape (113730)

CDC (114222)

HL7 (113883)

YOU (123)

YOU (987)

..just ask any organization that already has one..

SomeOrg (123456)

..or the ‘approved’/’assigned’ authority for your context..

YOU (234)

assigning oids
Assigning OIDs

Abstract root

ISO (1)

country (16)

US (840)

SomeOrg (123456)

YOU (876)

Codesets (2)

ID Schemes (3)


Orgs (1)

ICD-10 (1)



My Practicioner ID (1)

Dr. Smith (373)

Rule #1: never assign 1 OID to multiple semantic concepts or objects

oids are meaningless identifiers
OIDs are meaningless identifiers


  • Any appearance of internal structure is for administrative simplicity only
  • The identifier is not parsed, it is treated as if it were a non-interpretable string of numbers like a GUID
  • It may be used to look up information in an OID registry
  • There is no intrinsic semantic difference between an OIDlike 2.16.840.1.113883. and a UUID like 19809563-2181-11D6-834A-00B0D06C03A6
    • Right now, it is a bit more convenient to enter the OID without careless human error when registering
    • It is easier for the manual cleanup and checkout process to work with the OID format
persistence of ids
Persistence of IDs
  • Each and every ID is a tuple of (OID based root, and extension)
  • This tuple serves as a unique identifier of an object over time
    • If another organization takes over the custodianship of the data/object, it has to continue to support its existing identifier
    • Assigning new identifiers is fine (organizational mergers, software updates), but the old identifiers still have to work to maintain referential integrity
oids for software generated objects
OIDs for Software generated Objects
  • For these objects identity is essential
    • GUID/UUID would work just as well for this category of objects
    • For these objects the root OID could be assigned by any party (e.g. using a software vendor root) – the essential thing is that the referential integrity is assured
  • Examples:
    • Message ID; Query ID; Act ID
any questions
Any Questions ?
  • Or: post your question/suggestions via
    • HL7 Wiki: http://bit.ly/d7tSsL
    • E-mail v3impl@ringholm.com