Yesterday was the plenary session for the HL7 Working Group meeting in Atlanta. I missed the first two hours of keynoe presentations due to transit delays. Atlanta is having quite the rainstorm this week. I did arrive in time for presentations by Dr. Janet Corrigan, CEO of the National Qualify Forum, and from Dr. David Blumenthal, the National Coordinator for HIT (the US HIT Czar).
I enjoyed Janet's presentation, mostly because I agreed with what she presented. We need to get quality measurement worked into the processes (guidelines) used for care (see what I had to say on the topic earlier this year) . We are still in the opening stages of that effort, and at least we have folks who are working on Quality Measures now talking to folks developing HIT Standards. I give Janet high marks, an A for her efforts.
Dr. Blumenthal's presentation was dissappointing. I think part of the problem was that he didn't understand how well his audience understands what is going on in the US evironment. Looking at the HIT Standards committee workgroups, anywhere between 25 - 40% of the members of each workgroup are HL7 members, and about 30% of the HIT Standards committee are also HL7 members. Also in the room were about half of the ANSI/HITSP Staff and Leadership. What I had hoped for was a vision of how Healthcare IT would benfit the population of this country, or some notion of how ONC was organizing to effect that change. Unfortunately, almost all of what Dr. Blumenthal had to say about what is happening at ONC has been in my inbox for the past 6 months, and in the inboxes of more than half of the people in the room. On the flip side there was very little that he presented that would have made the US National initiatives comprehensible to the international members in the room. Overall, I would have to give him a D, but the fact that he came to talk to us is worth some credit, so I'm changing it to a C.
I'll be tweeting occasionally about the working group meeting, if you want to follow the discussion, search for #HL7WGM on twitter.