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HL7 Affiliates Meeting in Orlando

Publication date: Jan 11, 2009

The HL7 Working Group Meeting (where HL7 standard developers and implementers meet) takes place in Orlando this week. On Sunday the meeting starts with a meeting of all HL7 country organizations.

The week kicks of with the Affiliate Council - where the various HL7 country organizations meet to discuss international (organizational) issues. This effectively is the parliament of HL7 .. 18 countries are represented.

Amongst the various updates was a report from the board (the HL7 excutive). Decisions for 2009 include the site of the international 2010 working group meeting (currently, 1 out of 3 meetings is held outside of the US). Rumor has it that the site is likely to be Rio de Janeiro.

Another topic of discussion is related to the creation of a US affiliate. Do we need a US affiliate or some other US focused organization? The US currently doesn't have a country level organization - the original core of the international organization consisted of US members. But things have changed.. not the least the increasing requirement to localize HL7 standards for use in the US.

Ed Hammond (the current chair of the HL7 organization) comments on the international nature of the HL7 organization:

Catherine Chronaki, one of the Affiliate Directors (a representative of the affiliates to the HL7 board) presented some figures based on the HL7.org website access data for 2008. An analysis of interest are the top countries in terms of origin of the visitor (for all of 2008). Please note that these statistics are based on the www.hl7.org domain (only) - it doesn't include the number of visits made to the affiliate website (e.g. www.hl7.org.uk or www.hl7.fi).

  1. United States 250,621
  2. Netherlands 13,130
  3. Canada 12,190
  4. Germany 8,739
  5. Japan 7,868
  6. United Kingdom 7,106
  7. India 7,019
  8. Australia 5,902
  9. Italy 5,348
  10. Brazil 4,545
  11. Taiwan 4,464
  12. Turkey 4,264
  13. France 3,858
  14. Colombia 2,660
  15. Switzerland 2,660
Taken into account that some of the countries listed don't have a large population it provides an idea of the level of interest in HL7 within the listed countries.

Later in the day the various affiliates each reported about their highlights in terms of activities and projects. Some of them actually didn't contain much news - and yet again, some surprised me and provided new ideas.

The above are my observations for the sunday. My agenda for the remainder of this week is filled to the brim - with up to 40 committees meeting at any one time, and a wide range of interest, there are a series of planning conflicts. The next few posts will be about the specifics of some of the topics covered this week.


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