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Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Thinking about what it takes to get healthcare information communicated securely from one point to another reminded me of a Thanksgiving feast I still haven't tried yet.

A Turducken is a chicken, stuffed inside of a duck, stuffed inside of a turkey, and then cooked for a good long time.  I'm told by people who've had them that they are:
  1. Wonderful to eat
  2. Complicated to prepare
I feel that way about the current set of healthcare standards. Think about it:  We've got SNOMED CT, LOINC and RXNORM stuffed inside an HL7 CDA Document, packaged inside an IHE Cross Enterprise sharing transaction.  It is in fact, wonderfully full of content, securely exchanged, but is a bit complicated to prepare. 

My friends' third observation on Turducken was that it was worth the effort, and that parallels my own experience with standards based health information exchanges.

Have a happy Thanksgiving for those of you in the US, and for those of you who are not, have a good week.

UPDATE:  My wife pointed out to me after having heard about this morning's post that you can purchase a Turducken already prepared.  The same is true for the multiple standards put together by HITSP.  See OHF,  IPF and CONNECT for some examples.  Another excellent comparison.


  1. It may be more accurate to point to Open Health Tools projects, such as IHE Profiles (, which has largely superseded the Open Healthcare Framework at Eclipse.

  2. Thanks. I did know that, but I wrote that post before I had any coffee this morning. I'll try to keep it in mind in future posts.

  3. Thanks for keeping us updated on Health IT standards with this blog. I think open source is definitely key to wide adoption.

    Happy Thanksgiving!