Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The next Ad Hoc Harley ...

The point of the Ad Hoc Harley awards is to recognize people who have accomplished something significant. In this particular case, I'm recognizing someone who has in a large part taken over one of what I have long considered to be "my job", and done so in a way that is both more complete, and better than the work that I do here on this blog.

Recently I added his work to my auto-tweet list, which is still a pretty short list. Anything he writes winds up getting distributed immediately.  What it takes to get on that list is the production of consistently high quality information that I think will be important and relevant to my followers, mostly people who are interested in what is going on in Health IT, especially HL7 and IHE.

His work is also featured on the HL7 Help Desk for Meaningful Use and has developed much of the content for that in HL7.  He started listening to the Structured Documents list about 21 months ago and his first post to the list was about 18 months old, with a very telling summary of the discussion on open versus closed templates.  This was our first example of his ability to summarize a long and involved discussion and engage with experts to make it easy for implementers to understand what is going on.

Without further ado, let me award ...

This certifies that 
Brian Zvi Weiss of CDAPRO 

For outstanding explanations of CDA and contributions to development of the HL7 Help Desk


  1. Well deserved. I appreciate not only Brian's volunteer efforts, knowledge, and clear writing style, but also his humility and congeniality as he receives comments and sometimes criticisms coming from many sides of an issue. Thanks Keith for encouraging others to follow in your footsteps as well as outside your footsteps.

  2. Documenting HL7 lore has long been a problem. Brian has done an exceptional job of identifying the parts of lore that implementers need, nudging the "experts" towards consensus and then documenting it in a readable, understandable and *findable* way. It's a well-deserved award!

  3. Keith,


    As you know well, I'm not at all in the league of yourself, the folks commenting above, and many others (who I won't name because I'll invariably leave out more than I include) who continually are educating me via the HL7 SDWG listserv and otherwise. Given all the folks who know so much more, who have contributed so much more, who have been involved for such a longer period of time, etc. it doesn't feel "right" to me that I've been called out this way.

    To rationalize this award to myself...

    I'm working on being a "bridge" between the community of CDA experts and the growing community of CDA implementers who are in relatively early learning stages. This role is not something that most folks who would normally receive this recognition from you like to do (or even should do, given their value-add in advancing the standards themselves). To the extent they do/will feel that "investing in me" is effective in terms of how I translate what I learn for others, I am adding incremental value to them in what they are doing the rest of the time.

    Thus, my award is of a different nature than the same-named award you've bestowed on others who have received it in the past (and will receive it in the future). So I don't have to feel "unworthy" of being placed in this "group of award winners" - because I really haven't been. I've gotten the same award, but in a very different context.

    Given that, though I like recognition as much as the next guy, in a variation of the Groucho Marx "I don't want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member"... I don't want the award that Brian just got, I want to *eventually* get one that those other guys got...

    Rather than "giving back the award" (as Groucho Marx allegedly did with his membership), I'll try to use it as a motivator for me to "earn it for real" over time. What I've published so far on my site reflects just a small fraction of what I want to ultimately evolve the site to be. If I can realize a much higher percentage of my vision for the site (and for my role in Healthcare IT in general), then I won't feel as awkward knowing that this page/award exists.

    I won't be advertising this award on my web site, Linked-In page, etc. right now - not because I don't value it (just the opposite!) but because I plan to try and get to the point where I at least feel somewhat comfortable sharing that I've been awarded it...

    Thanks again!


    1. Brian, I give the award as I see fit, because I get to make the rules. You've advanced use of CDA by acting as a bridge between what you call the "experts" and the people who do the real work, the "implementers". As others have mentioned, this is a needed service, and you have done quite a great job. Keep up the good work. It takes a special skill to be able to do such translation, and you've done it in a way that has been needed for a long time. People still ask me where to go to learn about CDA and how they should get started. With the construction of the CDAPRO site and the HL7 Help desk, I finally have some easy answers.


  4. Brian - you deserve the award for stick-to-it-tive-ness alone! As an end user I appreciate your efforts and congratulate you on a job being well done!

    Thank you, Keith, for providing a way to recognize important contributions to our community.
    Wendy Scharber