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The HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) is an XML-based markup standard intended to specify the encoding, structure and semantics of clinical documents for exchange.

CDA is part of the HL7 version 3 standard. It was developed using the HL7 development Framework (HDF) and it is based on the HL7 Reference Information Model (RIM). CDA documents are persistent in nature.

The CDA specifies that the content of the document consists of a mandatory textual part (which ensures human interpretation of the document contents) and optional structured parts (for software processing). The structured part relies on coding systems (such as from SNOMED and LOINC) to represent concepts.

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