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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I'm an Implementician and other Stories from the HL7WGM

It started out as an overheard at HL7, but then turned into a misheard, and so now I'm going to claim this portmanteau word as my own neologism.  It's a combination of implementor and informatician, with the best properties of both (or perhaps that's the worst of both, it really depends on your point of view).  Used in a sentence you might say something like FHIR is built for implementicians.

I like to build stuff that works that makes both academics and developers happy.  Perhaps I'll use it as a job title on my next order of business cards, but I still think Standards Geek has more panache.

I wish I could tell you what happened with the HL7 Working Groups today, but I spent much of the day in the Board meeting.  There were some good outcomes there.  There will be a Paris WGM in May of 2015, as a result of outstanding support of the European community members from the International Council.  The foregone conclusion at the beginning of the board meeting was that it wasn't affordable, but we determined that this was a) an investment worth making, and b) an opportunity that was worth pursuing to ensure that the meeting brought value to members of both the European community and to the HL7 organization as a whole.  I was really impressed with the decision making here.

We also made progress towards development of a new membership model, but that is still under development.  The membership task force has made good progress since the last time we heard from them.

There were a number of discussions that should also result in both a more transparent board and a more effective leadership team.  We did finish the board meeting in time to resume Q4 with the working groups.  Most of the board felt that trying to hold the board meeting starting Q1 on Tuesday probably wouldn't work going forward, because of the unpredictable ending times, so we'll likely start it Q3 at the next WGM.  That pretty much guarantees two lost quarters, but two known quarters down, is better than two plus some unknown additional time.

CDA R3 is still making progress, and there seems to be a general idea that this will go to ballot "soon", although I expect that there are still a few cycles that work product will have to run through.

We talked about the Consolidated CDA update project scope statement, which was floated past Structured Documents just before the WGM.  There'll be more discussion about it this week, and a final discussion next Thursday before it goes up to the steering division.

As currently outlined, that project will incorporate existing errata, make some adjustments to the Consult note, and add a referral and transfer summary, and a care plan.  These will be coordinated with existing S&I framework activities as well as ongoing IHE work with the Consolidated CDA Harmonization project it is executing.

IHE members are getting antsy about the joint ballot project, and several approached me to discuss their concerns and propose a candidate, because if we truly want to do an out of cycle ballot, we need to get it rolling NOW if we want to align IHE and HL7 comment periods.  So, I get to try to address that tomorrow in my role as HL7's liaison to IHE.


  1. Honestly, every time I find myself describing FHIR to someone, I end up using the portmanteau 'simplimentation' - it's kind of infectious.

  2. Ok, so now we have Simplementician, describing one who creates an informatics specification that is easy to implement correctly and has utility.

  3. "Standards Geek" does have more panache. I also like "Seminal Generalist" and "XPathologist"