Pulse+IT Magazine - August 2014

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PULSEITMAGAZINE.COM.AU

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MSIA

FIRE AND AIR:

A PROJECT FOR BETTER COLLABORATION While the eHealth sector in Australia has been consumed by speculation about the next steps for the PCEHR, there is some very exciting work being led by Australians on a new, clinically driven collaboration that has flown under the radar. The collaboration between FHIR and openEHR promises to be a valuable step for healthcare software vendors and information managers in how healthcare information is represented.

BRIDGET KIRKHAM CEO, Medical Software Industry Association ceo@msia.com.au

In early July, a group of four informaticians, representing the FHIR (pronounced “fire”) project, openEHR (“open air”) community and the HL7 patient care working group, gathered virtually to develop a common information model for adverse reactions, allergies and intolerances, based on input from a diverse international group of clinicians and other domain experts. The editorial group includes Heather Leslie, clinical program lead at the openEHR Foundation and modelling lead at Ocean Informatics; Grahame Grieve, primary author of the FHIR specifications and consultant at Health Intersections; Ian McNicoll, board member at the openEHR Foundation and consultant at FreshEHR in the UK; and Russ Leftwich, immunologist and co-chair of the HL7 patient care working group.

About the author Bridget Kirkham is the CEO of the Medical Software Industry Association (MSIA), which represents over 100 Australian and New Zealand health software vendors. She is a former CEO of Arthritis Australia and has worked for healthcare not-for-profits in the UK, USA and New Zealand.

This team is using the international openEHR Clinical Knowledge Manager (CKM) as the tool to coordinate the online, crowd-sourced collaboration from international domain experts. The aim is to develop a common model for allergy/ intolerance, which is a record of an ongoing propensity to react to a substance. From this, both openEHR and HL7 will derive openEHR and FHIR-specific archetypes/resources, which will be

published on CKM and through the FHIR specification for implementation in both communities. The plan is that this will forge a meaningful working relationship which will foster a more collaborative approach in the future. Ocean Informatics founder and openEHR Foundation chairman Sam Heard, who also works as a GP in Darwin, says he wholeheartedly welcomes this new collaboration and the use of CKM in this way. “Standards processes for clinical content need to enable broad participation, particularly by grassroots clinicians who have previously found it difficult to engage in traditional standards development,” Dr Heard says. “This collaborative, online approach to EHR clinical specifications across ostensibly competing health IT standards has enormous potential for benefit. “We can now support agile clinical content development under a formal governance framework, with outputs that can embrace multiple implementation formalisms.” HL7 International CEO Chuck Jaffe says that since its earliest development, the HL7 FHIR standard has held the promise


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