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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Open Data vs. Data Exchange Standards

On the NwHIN Power Team call, we were talking about HPD+ readiness for Meaningful Use.  There was general consensus on the call that this specification was too new to be consider readied for prime time.  If compared against the teams readiness criteria (recently published here in JAMIA), it likely wouldn't make the grade.

One of the discussion points was to have ONC explore the following:

  1. Capture Direct addresses with other publicly accessible data currently stored in the NPI database.
  2. Making that data part of the open NPI data available to developers to innovate with.
From the perspective of the need for directory information, this seems to be the most likely and best pathway to ensure that the "Directory" problem reported by users of The Direct Protocol would be available for those who need directory information to be readily available to support Direct implementations in 2014 and 2015. It also enables innovation and resolution of the problem without necessarily mandating the final solution in regulation.

I like this answer.  Maybe we should consider the problem we are trying to solve, not the solution.  After all, not every data interchange problem need be solved with a standard (whoops, did I actually say that?)