5.3 Varient Field Lenght question (for McKesson Series)

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  • Creator
  • #49827
    Darren Tomlinson

    I am currently working on creating a new variant for McKesson Series HIS.  They follow 2.2 for the most part but add fields and change field lengths.  My question is this:

    If a field is defined as a name and is say 100 length, does Cloverleaf count the subfield separators as characters?

    The reason i ask this is if i define a field as a String and I cannot define the subfields (since Cloverleaf doesn’t let me) it will count the separator as part of the field length.  But since defining a field as a Name, Cloverleaf knows the subfield breakdown already.

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  • Author
    • #63749
      Darren Tomlinson

      well, i did some testing of my own and here is what i came up with.

      I had a PN (person name) field defined as 48 long.  i put the following into a test message and ran it through the testing tool.


      it ended up returning


      ie, 44 characters for info, and 4 characters for subfield dividers, totaling 48.

      so, in terms of official HL7 standards, if a field is defined as 48 length, does that not mean 48 characters worth of actual text not counting the subfield separators?

    • #63750
      Jim Kosloskey


      The field length specified for HL/7 (the standard and in Cloverleaf(R) is to include separator characters.

      In other words, as you noticed, if you have 4 component separators you have 4 less characters for actual data.

      Jim Kosloskey

      email: jim.kosloskey@jim-kosloskey.com

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