HL7 resources

HL7 Separator Character Codes

In HL7 messaging, the separator characters are known as the message delimiters or special encoding characters.

|Field separator, aka pipe
^Component separator, aka hat
&Sub-component separator
~Field repeat separator
Escape character

The first two fields in the MSH segment define the separator characters to be used throughout the HL7 message. The MSH-1 field defines the field separator, and the MSH-2 field defines the other separator characters for the message in the following order: component, field repeat, escape character, and subcomponent.  Here’s an example of an MSH segment with the defined separator characters in MSH-1 and MSH-2:

MSH|^~&|GPMS|CTX||MED2000|200803060953||SIU^S14|20080306953450|P|2.3||||||||

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