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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The title of this post is not so secret...

The Harmonization RFP that I tallked about in "The title of this post is a secret..."  was posted publically on John Halamka's blog today.  After reading through this RFP, what I find interesting is that HITSP already did some very similar work which I discussed in Data Mapping and HITSP TN903.  I hope we aren't paying for a redevelopment of this effort, and that the selected contractor takes advantage of what is already done.

The low point in the RFP (on page 15) is this sentence:  The harmonization process shall include the function of reviewing, reconciling, developing, setting and maintaining standards.  These latter functions are of course the function of consensus standards development organizations, not government contractors or contracts.

National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) directs government (or so I'm told) to use standards that are adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies.  OMB Circular A119 clarifies that here.  Should contractors under this RFP be responsible for developing, setting or maintaining standards, I will be interested in seeing the ONC/HHS report to NIST on the standards they do that for, and why.

One high point did appear in the first full paragraph on page 16: include relevant COIs [ed. note: COI = communities of intererest] ... The contractor shall also establish domain governance for the healthcare domain with participation from all relevant stakeholders...

Well, at least I know what it says, now we'll see how the contractors respond.  It is still entirely possible that the selected response could wind up looking very much like the Candadian model, but I'm not going to hold my breath on that idea.

I have just one final question.  What was there in this RFP that prevented the public from being able to view it three months ago.  I may never know the answer to that question, but at least another veil has been lifted.