Sadly, I have a conflict today and will miss our interoperability-layer
call. An issue which I hope will come up, though, is the choice of which
"stack of standards" our HIM will employ. I've exchanged comments/emails on
this topic because, depending on what we choose as our product, the
standards "stack" is often baked in. Mohawk's Everest framework, for
example, supports HL7v3. In contrast, the CONNECT framework is entirely
based on IHE.
I would like to advocate for the selecting of a eHealth single standards
stack -- even where we may be favouring the OpenHIM product and believe we
could support "anything". However pragmatic this "anything" approach might
appear, it actually will be (I believe) a mistake to NOT choose a single
stack of standards, however imperfect, and go with it. My reasoning is this:
1. the HIM plays a crucial, central role as the "plug and play" bus
2. if the HIM's interfaces are idiosyncratic, or a mish-mash of
specifications, then this idiosyncracity will be "inherited" by the entire
OpenHIE, and that will impede our ability to go to scale
3. we should expect that the HIM will be a key infrastructure for a
country's entire healthcare system, including existing private sector care
delivery networks. This means it should stick to families of interfaces that
the existing eHealth "market" favours... otherwise the ability to connect in
existing products will be very problematic, if not impossible. In short:
support legacy/commercial systems; don't expect everything is going to be
written from scratch.
4. we don't have the bandwidth, ourselves, to take on the job of having to
write new standards... or even to have to profile existing ones -- at every
turn. No single stack of standards is perfect, but they don't need to be for
us to be successful. Good enough is... well... good enough.
I will be sorry to miss this discussion, if it makes its way onto today's
agenda. But I hope this short email frames the nature of my concerns on the
Derek Ritz, P.Eng., CPHIMS-CA
+1 (905) 515-0045
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