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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The definition of Transparency is apparently Invisibility

Recently I ran into a friend who has some knowledge of the Standards Harmonization contract solicted under task order 10-233-SOL-00072 to HHS.  He told me that Deloitte has been awarded the contract (as of August 12th according to FedBizOps.gov).

According to the solicitation:  The purpose of this requirement is to obtain Contractor support services to harmonize standards and interoperability specifications to achieve ubiquitous implementation of standards, promote wider use of standards, and increased level of interoperability across the nation in health information technology (HIT). The overall purpose of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) programs is to facilitate and expand the secure, electronic movement and use of health information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards.


So is anyone else worried that we [members of healthcare SDO's and Standards Profiling organizations] haven't heard anything about this?

7 comments:

  1. So transparent that you can't even see what they are doing....

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  2. As we head into the busy Fall season, it would be nice to have a clear indication of what the SDO volunteers are expected to contribute. Calendars are already filling-up.

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  3. Maybe it's just me, but I have no idea what this entails... How many more of these are floating out there?

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  4. Ten of them, see: http://geekdoctor.blogspot.com/2010/03/onc-interoperability-framework.html

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  5. Supposedly, ONC is in the process of putting together their documentation on the process, and will be talking to the world when they are ready.

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  6. ONC plans to leverage the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) to create harmonized XMI (XML) interop specifications. See http://www.niem.gov/pdf/SuccessStory_HHS.pdf

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  7. That's a story, if implemented without public input will result in exactly the kinds of costly rework that it reports to be trying to avoid. We don't need a new XML standard in healthcare, especially one that is US-centric and not developed with international input like the standards we do have. That's a step or three backwards from where we are today.

    But, we could certainly use a better process to harmonize the standards we have. I believe the NIEM could help here.

    That's why the lack of information is so concerning. It appears that the US could be about to begin developing healthcare standards on it's own, through a private contractor, and ignoring what's already been done. While I don't think that's what is really happening, the lack of information, and articles like the one you referenced make it conceivable.

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