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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Structured Documents and ITS Project Update

The HL7 Structured Documents and Implementation Technology Specification Workgroups held a joint meeting today to discuss status on a number of projects related to both groups, and to perform ballot reconcilliation on the Green CDA specification.  This post is a short summary of where some of those projects are.  A number of these projects have relevance to some of the work items that are expected to be addressed as part of the ONC Standards and Interoperability Framework.  On that note, we were joined by Dr. Doug Fridsma of ONC who heard our status reports, and stayed through the ballot reconcilliation of greenCDA that followed.

The hData (YouTube)project is intended to provide a RESTful API using commonly available technologies to support the exchange of a wide variety of content.  The API would address transport of content appearing in HL7 Message or document specifications.  The transport is content neutral.  The ITS workgroup has been working exensively on the document that they plan to ballot in the next cycle.  From their perspective, they feel that the content is ready to go out for ballot.  Next steps are to complete the appropriate notification of intent to ballot, and prepare the content for balloting.  The committee is seeking input on the current specifications prior to final publication and is asking others to review it.

Dave Carleson's work on the CDA Tools project has been recieving quite a bit of attention across the organization.  There are thoughts that this tool could be used to develop the publication that would be balloted from Structured Documents on the complete set of Common Document Types developed by the Health Story project.  The beauty of this work is that
  1. You have computable models of the templates in UML
  2. These models can be used to produce:

    1. Template Specifications
      1. DITA
      2. XHTML
      3. PDF
      4. Others
    2. Conformance/Validation Tools
    3. Model Driven Code Generation (Java Now, .NET possible in the future)
    4. Schematron

  3. The project has already built models from the following specifications:
    1. HL7 Continutity of Care Document
    2. HITSP C83 Sections and Entries
    3. IHE Patient Care Coordination Technical Framework
    4. HL7 Common Document Types
The MicroITS project is a specification that describes what a microITS is and the core capabilities it must support.  This project has not progressed further since the last working group meeting, but will go through a (likely informative or comment only) ballot process in the next cycle. Key tasks are to file for ballot, and to update the requirements (see link above) to incorporate feedback from TSC Chair Charlie McKay and other interested parties.
Green CDA is a project that is identifying the process to produce simpler XML from CDA Templates.  It started from the HITSP C32 specifications and worked out a method to generate simpler XML from the business names found in those specifications.

The Neutral Mapping Project is intended to support tools and identify standards to enable HL7 models to be mapped to domain specific markup languages.  The hope is that these tools and standards will assist in development of specifications that conform to HL7 models, or to map existing messages or models to HL7 models.  Robert showed one slide which explained that these tools, with the human input required to do the mapping could generate transforms, schemas and other artifacts that support mapping from and to the different formats.

The RIM ITS project developed a W3C XML Schema that supports serialization of content using RIM-based modeling.  It is an alternative ITS that uses a concistent set of XML elements for all RIM-based models, rather than clone names.  It provides one form of simplification of HL7 XML based content.   The Structured Documents Workgroup agreed that RIM ITS would be worth looking at for the "Right hand side" of the CDA, essentially the level 3 content.  This material passed ballot without substantivew and will be moving forward through the process.

Dr. Fridsma had some good feedback on these projects (we warmed his heart), and as I said, he also stayed through the ballot reconcilliation for green CDA.  I won't go into details on that part of the meeting.  If you want the details, please read the minutes which will be posted to the Structured Documents page following the WGM.


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