Report from the HL7 WGM in Cambridge
Publication date: Oct 16, 2013
HL7 held its annual plenary meeting in Cambridge USA. This post discusses some of the topics or issues
covered during the meeting.
On Saturday-Sunday prior to the HL7 Working Group Meeting (WGM) the 4th FHIR
connecthathon was held. This was the best attended
connectathon to date, with lots of clients (written in a multitude of programming languages including mine written in Tcl).
The first day was basically a hack-a-thon, with lots of ad-hoc testing and bug fixing. The second day was reserved
for more formal scenario based testing. At this point in time there is no formal validation of an application's capabilities,
as such I'm hesitant to label this event as a connectathon. The size of the event is however such that formal evaluation
of a systems capabilities is likely to be tested beginning one of the test events in 2014.
Impressions of the 4th FHIR connectathon
Jointly with Kai Heitmann
of HL7.tv we recorded a series of video interviews.
The interviews fall into two categories:
- an interview with someone who's actively involved in the development or deployment of interoperability standards.
During this meeting we interviewed Keith Boone (a.k.a. Motorcycle Guy, blog: motorcycleguy.blogspot.com
and Twitter: @motorcycle_guy) about some of the topics that seem to be close to his heart.
- a series of interviews was held with those involved in the early history of
HL7 and its precursors. During this meeting we interviewed John Quinn - HL7 CTO and co-creator of HL7 version 1,
Clem McDonald - main creator of the ASTM 1238 standard and HL7 v2 chapters 4 and 7,
Mark Shafarman - involved in the development of the main HL7 precursor since 1980,
Mark McDougall - HL7 Executive Director since 1991.
Snippet of the interview with Keith Boone (source: HL7.tv)
These video interviews in the latter category have not been edited as of yet, they serve to further document the
"early history of HL7" whitepaper.
New information was also surfaced during these interviews: for instance, if you have been involved in HL7 at the international level for
a while: did you know that Mark Shafarman has been involved in the development of HL7 (or direct precursor protocols)
since 1980? HL7 has a "25+ year member" category, and whilst not having been a member of HL7 from its inception, Mark has been working
with 'HL7' for 33 years. Other interesting tidbits have (and will be) added to the whitepaper.
Clem McDonald on FHIR
HL7 User Groups: Application Implementation and Design
HL7 which has many HL7 standards development oriented groups, and just one 'HL7 implementer' group: RIMBAA. We (RIMBAA)
decided to change our name to reflect that which we actually do: be the implementer community. Hence our new name:
'Application Implementation and Design' (AID). Over the years we've tried to impress upon the organization that
it should take care of the HL7 implementation community: the easier the implementation of its standards, the higher
the adoption of those standards.
Our recommendations, and input from others to the board of HL7, have recently motivated the board to create a taskforce
to examine how HL7 could facilitate 'HL7 User Groups' (i.e. for those that 'use' standards, as opposed to those
that 'create' standards). The taskforce met two times during the WGM - effectively brainstorm type discussions
given the near zero experience of the organization with user groups.
RIMBAA (now: AID) effectively is a HL7 User Group (a specific user community, being the software implementers and
It has held many a meeting to share best practices related to the implementation of HL7 standards (the next such meeting
will be in Amsterdam on November 28, see HL7 wiki for details).
Many if the affiliates are effectively 'user groups', centered around the exchange of experiences related to the
use of HL7 standards in a particular country. The taskforce has recruited about a dozen volunteers to work
on the next steps - one such step will be to test some of the ideas related to 'user groups':
- by creating a brand-new clinically oriented user group (probably the HL7 CIC and Advisory Board should pitch in on this), and
- by expanding/morphing the RIMBAA/AID working group into a implementation oriented user group. I'm not sure
what changes that's going to bring, probably not a lot, given that it mostly already acts as a user group.
There may be some changes in the way that RIMBAA/AID fits within the organization: next to a Technical Steering Committee (TSC, for groups that
create standards - the TSC reports directly to the board) we may ultimately be in need of a USC (User group Steering Committee).
We may be organizing different types of events, or combine them with HL7-themed connectathons.
A connectathon is after all a user oriented event.
As you may be aware of, Ringholm acts as the outsourcing partner of multiple European HL7 affiliates (as well as IHE country organizations)
for the delivery of HL7, IHE and DICOM training courses. On other continents there are other commercial providers
who have teamed up with a local affiliate. Whereas the affiliates have been open about such a cooperation with
a commercial entity (and have a long history of doing so), HL7 international hasn't.
HL7 International seems to be ready to start considering such cooperation, in the realization that it's near to impossible to cater
to the world's educational requirements when it comes to a subject like HL7 (or: the wider issue of healthcare systems interoperability).
One has to mostly speak the local language, be aware of how healthcare is organized and financed, be aware of local customs, and be
aware of the state of healthcare interoperability - which is already difficult for us, and we're only focused on the
delivery of training courses in less than a dozen of European countries, and we always try to use local tutors/trainers.
Yes, one can offer introductory webinars aimed at a global English-speaking audience. Any face to face training, if it is to be done well,
will require local involvement.
Having some kind of partnership agreement with HL7 International would offer additional opportunities for training courses in countries that
either don't have an HL7 affiliate (they have the best connections and marketing database to organize local events),
or in countries where the affiliate is somehow unable to organize its own training courses.
We look forward to the new challenges that this opportunity may bring - we may be adding yet other (European) countries to our list.
PermaLink to this page: http://www.ringholm.com/column/Report_from_the_HL7_WGM_September_2013.htm
Index of columns:
- FHIR DevDays and the year in review (Dec 27, 2018)
- Creation and Curation of FHIR Profiles - process and governance (Dec 14, 2017)
- De Algemene Verordening Gegevensbescherming (AVG) in de zorg (Dutch, Sep 19, 2017)
- Impact of the GDPR on the use of interoperability standards (Jun 27, 2017)
- News from the FHIR DevDays in Amsterdam (Dec 15, 2016)
- Next XDS Release (Oct 27, 2016)
- Five years of FHIR (Aug 11, 2016)
- Interoperability projects in Ireland - FHIReland (Mar 14, 2016)
- 2016 FHIR Jedi Calendar (Jan 06, 2016)
- Top 10 HL7 videos watched in 2015 (Dec 24, 2015)
- Update from the trenches on CDA R2.1/R3 and HL7v2. (Oct 15, 2015)
- FHIR DevDays - UK GP System APIs (Sep 16, 2015)
- IHE XDS - testing and implementation tools (Aug 25, 2015)
- Most often implemented IHE Profiles (Jun 08, 2015)
- Why we sponsor the HL7 WGM (May 10, 2015)
- FHIR in Paris (Apr 21, 2015)
- Mapping HL7v2 messages to FHIR. (Apr 13, 2015)
- Analysis of CDA R2 testing tools - most requirements are neither tested nor respected. (Feb 13, 2015)
- HL7 and IHE in Sweden (Feb 08, 2015)
- 2015 FHIR Chiefs Calendar (Jan 07, 2015)
- The Merry FHIR Choir caroling the 12 Days of Christmas (Dec 09, 2014)
- Chicago FHIR Update (Oct 13, 2014)
- Internationalization of HL7 (Sep 25, 2014)
- New XDS Advanced training course on offer by IHE Services and IHE Academy (Jul 14, 2014)
- Recent and Future developments of the DICOM standard (Mar 06, 2014)
- Top 10 HL7 videos watched in 2013 (Jan 02, 2014)
- Report from the HL7 WGM in Cambridge (Oct 16, 2013)
- Documenting the history of HL7 (Sep 03, 2013)
- Histology Lab Device Automation using HL7 version 2 (Jul 23, 2013)
- HL7 FHIR Elevator Pitch (Jul 15, 2013)
- Interoperability Standards - the no-sales pitch (Jul 09, 2013)
- HL7 UK - new landscape, new opportunities (Jun 26, 2013)
- Validation and error correction at the IHE Connectathon (Apr 25, 2013)
- CDA Implementation Guides - (not) invented here (Apr 17, 2013)
- Usage of IHE Profiles (Feb 25, 2013)
- 10 year anniversary - Dutch Ringholm HL7 v2 training courses. (Feb 19, 2013)
- About IHE Academy and new IHE training courses (Jan 12, 2013)
- CDA implementation experiences in the UK (Dec 04, 2012)
- Musings on free HL7 IP (Oct 01, 2012)
- HL7 Connectathons (Sep 09, 2012)
- Renovate HL7 version 3 (Aug 03, 2012)
- Frequency of use of HL7 message types (Jul 24, 2012)
- Lighting the FHIR, HL7s new major interoperability standard (Jun 15, 2012)
- Reflections on the HL7 membership model - the affiliate life cycle (Dec 28, 2011)
- Thinking like an OWL reasoner (Sep 17, 2011)
- RFH (Resources for Health): HL7 version 3 taken to the next step (Aug 18, 2011)
- What's so great about the HL7 organization? (Aug 04, 2011)
- Kerndossier: een Nederlandse versie van CCD (Dutch, May 03, 2011)
- A HL7 RIMBAA update (Apr 21, 2011)
- Timezone Hotel (Mar 29, 2011)
- HL7 and openEHR are cooperating (finally) (Jan 21, 2011)
- Increasing demand for IHE training courses (Dec 18, 2010)
- Context issues with the IHE QED profile (Dec 15, 2010)
- The changing role of HL7 country organizations (Jul 16, 2010)
- Implementing HL7 version 3 - the book (May 06, 2010)
- Adding openness to a closed world (Feb 09, 2010)
- How to lower the hurdle for HL7 v3 implementers (Jan 21, 2010)
- HL7 v3 deployment statistics (Dec 17, 2009)
- There's Trouble in Paradigm (Sep 25, 2009)
- Internationalization of HL7 (Sep 24, 2009)
- HL7 UK signs deal with Ringholm to deliver HL7 v2/v3 training courses in London (Sep 17, 2009)
- The use of HL7 in South Africa (Aug 20, 2009)
- The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam (Apr 17, 2009)
- The HL7 UK AGM and RIMBAA (Apr 16, 2009)
- The HL7 Wiki reaches 2000 pages (Mar 02, 2009)
- The HL7 roadmap for CDA R3 and the CCD (Jan 17, 2009)
- HL7 Affiliates Meeting in Orlando (Jan 11, 2009)
- Swiss and Dutch HL7 News (Dec 31, 2008)
- Devices and Prizes (Nov 22, 2008)
- HL7 in Norway: a situation report (Sep 02, 2008)
- Russian whitepaper (Jul 09, 2008)
- The HL7 Interoperability Conference - IHIC 2008 (May 30, 2008)
- HL7 creates a RIM Based Application Architecture (RIMBAA) group (May 18, 2008)
- Notes from the HL7 WGM in Phoenix (May 08, 2008)
- Germany embraces CDA eReferral document specification (May 02, 2008)
- HL7 v3 RIM based applications: an unintended side effect (Jan 19, 2008)
- Collaborative Tools (Jun 21, 2007)
- HL7 ist Pflicht in der deutschen Telematikinfrastruktur (German, Mar 16, 2007)
- HL7 based Tree inventory system (Jan 30, 2007)
- The link between HL7 and Open Source Software (Jan 06, 2007)
- Workflow Bribery (Sep 15, 2006)
- Timezones in HL7 (Jan 23, 2004)
- Controlled vocabularies: "@*%!!!" ? (Sep 01, 2003)
- Trusting the other Party (Nov 01, 2002)
About Ringholm bv
Ringholm bv is a group of European experts in the field of messaging standards and systems integration in healthcare IT.
We provide the industry's most advanced training courses and consulting on healthcare information exchange standards.
See http://www.ringholm.com or call +31 33 7 630 636 for additional information.
Rene is the Tutor-in-chief of Ringholm.