Person Name (PN)

The HL7 PN type is used to represent a person’s name.

The HL7 representation of a name recognizes that people can have multiple names. Each name has one or more parts (where parts are usually “given”, “family”, “prefix” or “suffix”).

XML Representation

Here’s a typical XML representation of a name:

<name>
  <given>Wilma</given>
  <family>Flintstone</family>
</name>

A person may have multiple instances of a particular name part — for example, “middle names” are just another given name.

<name>
  <prefix>Mrs.</prefix>
  <given>Wilma</given>
  <given>Pebbles</given>
  <family>Flintstone</family>
</name>

Names also have uses and qualifiers. A use applies to a whole name, and may indicate that the name is a legal name, a psuedonym, or religious name (among other options). Qualifiers apply to individual name parts, and might indicate that a name is birth name, spousal name, or initial (among other options).

<name use="L">
  <prefix>Mrs.</prefix>
  <given>Wilma</given>
  <given>Pebbles</given>
  <family qualifier="BR">Slaghoople</family>
  <family qualifier="SP">Flintstone</family>
</name>

Also, parts don’t necessarily have part types. The following is a legal name, for example, and might be how a name would be provided by a system that can’t determine how to separate parts:

<name>
  Wilma Flintstone
</name>

Variations: PN.BASIC

Variations: PN.FULL

Variations: PN.SIMPLE

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