The changing role of HL7 country organizations
Publication date: Jul 16, 2010
The role of HL7 country organizations (affiliates) has changed over the past five years, the importance of being a platform for the exchange of experiences has increased, whilst their role in the creation of localized specifications has diminished.
HL7 country organizations, or 'affiliates' as HL7 calls them, used to have a pretty clear mandate:
HL7 version 2 has a fairly limited scope (it's limited to hospital internal workflows), and in the all-volunteer environment of HL7 the effort required was limited as well. The volunteers were mostly representatives of either hospitals or software vendors, i.e. those with a direct interest in the implementation of the standard.
- Localize (and potentially: translate) the HL7 version 2 standard for local use
- Ensure that all local requirements are met by the standard, and if not, bring forward and defend proposals to extend the standard
- Be an exchange platform for the exchange of implementation experiences
- Provide education in the form of training courses, brochures, conferences.
HL7 Norway expertteam, May 2010
HL7 currently has a wide range of standards, including HL7 version 3, functional models and service specifications. These standards (let's use HL7 version 3 as an example) are more complex and larger in size, and have more of a "toolbox" character: if for example a particular scenario isn't covered by the standard one can create one's own models. HL7 version 3 also has a scope that's much wider than HL7 version 2: it covers all healthcare processes.
The main stakeholders have changed as well: they now include governmental, regulatory and National health Infrastructure Network (NHIN) organizations.
HL7 Norway was created in April 2010. Espen Moller, the interim chair of HL7 Norway states that "the main incentive for becoming an affiliate was to have the ability to create our own implementation guides, and to build up knowledge about HL7, especially HL7 version 3 messaging."
Another key reason he mentions is the desire to have a platform, a focal point, for knowledge about HL7 version 3. At HL7 Working Group Meetings (where all HL7 country organizations meet and work on the creation of international standards) he values the "networking, knowledge building" and the fact that the meeting "important to get some perspective, to get input, on our own project".
"The world is smaller than we think, we're all working on similar issues". See below for the full interview.
So how has the role of an HL7 country organization changed? What are its responsibilities today?
- The work has become much larger in scope and is mostly done by an organizational stakeholder (e.g. a semi-governmental organization). That organization typically engages with the HL7 country organization: the level of engagement could vary from just asking them to review/ballot the localized specifications, up to full cooperation in the development of such specifications. The role of the HL7 country organizations when it comes to the development of localized specifications has diminished.
- The scope of the educational activities of the HL7 country organizations has had to be widened in scope: there are an increasing number of standards, with an increasing scope. In addition to that new educational channels have opened up such as e-learning, distance learning, 10 minute streaming videos, and trainer-lead classroom-style training. These new channels and a wider set of standards probably require more professionalization of the educational offerings. As such the role of the HL7 country organization (other than as the organization that outsources its educational efforts) is getting smaller.
- The role of "being an exchange platform for HL7 standards users" has increased. HL7 has always been an open standards environment where any and all could discuss the use and development of its standards. To me, engaging with other (national) standards organizations as well as (for more long term reasons) with HL7 organizations in other countries is an inherent part of offering a platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences.
HL7 country organizations definitely have a role to play, but it has changed from the role it had up to about 5 years ago.
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Index of columns:
- 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)
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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.
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Rene is the Tutor-in-chief of Ringholm.