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What's so great about the HL7 organization?

Publication date: Aug 04, 2011

What is it that has turned HL7 into the primary standards organization in healthcare IT; why is the process of standards development in the HL7 organization both productive as well as 'fun'?

Last year at the Cambridge HL7 Working Group Meeting (October 2010) we created a video on "The History of the HL7 RIM" (more about that in an upcoming whitepaper, probably later this month). For technical reasons Kai Heitmann (who recorded the interviews) had to postpone the editing until this month.

As a bit of an aside we also asked some of the interviewees as to what it is that makes working in the context of the HL7 organization so productive .. as well as fun. The following short video (under 2 minutes) contains two comments by George W. "Woody" Beeler and Mead Walker, both long time HL7 contributors, in answer to my question "what's so great about HL7?":

In general HL7 provides access to a community of experts as well as a platform for the creation open standards in healthcare. The HL7 community develops HL7 standards. Membership in HL7 is available to anyone interested in the development of a cost-effective approach to system interoperability.

I agree with the sentiments expressed: it's a meritocracy - if your ideas are any good they'll listen to you, and the fact that the brightest people in healthcare informatics are actually having fun creating collaborative standards.


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