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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Do You Think Standards Australia Is Behaving In Conformance With Its Memorandum of Understanding With HL7 and IT-14?

Here is the HL7 Australia Mission Statement and The MOU.
HL7 Australia Mission
HL7 Australia is an open, not-for-profit, democratic organisation that supports the HL7 user community by:
Co-ordinating and championing the development and implementation of the Australian and global family of HL7 standards
Developing skills and knowledge exchange amongst members and the wider informatics community
Promoting HL7 as the most effective standard for systems interoperability, EDI message interfaces and information management in healthcare
HL7 Australia strives to collaborate with Standards Australia and the IT14 Health Informatics Committee to best achieve this Mission.
Statement of Collaboration
 Principles of Collaboration
HL7 Australia recognises that the development and implementation of health informatics standards in Australia must involve the active collaboration with Standards Australia, and that there is value in clarifying the broad roles and responsibilities of each organisation.
HL7 Australia will:
•  Maintain open lines of communication
•  Collaborate in a spirit of mutual appreciation, respect and openness
•  Seek pragmatic solutions to create a series of HL7 standards for health care communications
HL7 Australia re-affirms that:
•  we support SA and IT14 in their role as the national standards developer.
•  we coordinate Australia’s activity in the international HL7 Working Group and related meetings.
•  in areas not covered by IT14, we will facilitate Australia’s input to HL7 standards development.
•  we provide education and events relating to HL7.
•  we encourage complete openness in the sharing of technical documents.
 Approved by the HL7 Australia Board, May 2003 (confirmed by SA and IT14 June 2003)
Here is the link:
It would seem to me on the basis of the last two blogs in the area found here:
And here:
That we are just not seeing any mutual appreciation, respect and openness from SA to either HL7 and IT14 Health Informatics Committee.
A quick look at the current list of e-Health Standards found here:
Will show just how much of  Standards Australia’s work flows from and is based on HL7 work.
One really must wonder just what Australian HL7 Members and their Board are thing about all these shenanigans. I suspect there must be a lot behind the scenes discussion regarding who needs to do what to get things back on the rails.
I continue to hear of a lot of unhappiness from all over on this.
All this reminds me a little of the MOU on Compliance, Conformance and Assessment (CCA) which kicked off with a lot of noise and now seems to be pretty quiet.
See here:
It is odd that there has been no news update on the site in over a year - rather like the NEHTA Publications Listings. See here:
Last entry in August last year.
One has to wonder are things just falling to bits.


Paul Fitzgerald said...

Would anyone actually start from scratch and build a system around HL7 today? I know it's what we have, but there are surely better ways to achieve interoperability now.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the PCEHR uses specifications for clinical documents based on HL7 CDA.

Anonymous said...

A sensible person would build with HL7 and if you wanted to have a good chance of interoperablity you would actually choose HL7v2 as that has achieved widespread interoperabiliy in many areas.

We have been hijacked by the HL7v3 "pipe dream" for 20 years and its failed, but HL7v2 lives on as strong as ever. Nothing else has demonstrated this type of success. So warts and all it works and we have proof of that. Now if we put 1% of the money that has been wasted by Nehta/ English NHS into quality HL7v2 we would be a long way ahead, but HL7v2 is still ahead without it. Perhaps thats because HL7v2 was designed by real health IT developers and whats come after has had management input?

Tom Bowden said...

Hi all,

While I have some doubt as to whether HL7 v2 is the way forward for everything, there is no doubt that we owe a huge debt of gratitude to V2 and to its promoters and evangelists. I am writing this to endorse the last poster's commments about the benefit of putting effort into things that improve the patient journey, rather than pipe dreams and big schemes.

There is some real work to do, there are many patients whose journey through the health system we could be improving.

HL7 v2 has made more difference to delivery of care than all of the PHRs, EHRs etc, ever have done or will do.

kind regards,