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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Where's your Standards Review in your HealthIT research project?

One of the challenges with implementation projects using standards is that many do not have an appropriate process for review of existing standards.  This challenge is exacerbated by the fact that it is rather difficult to do a search for standards.  There's no "PubMed" for standards like there is for healthcare research.

With hundreds or even thousands of standards available related to Healthcare IT, and yet thousands more in general IT that might be applicable, how is an implementer able to find what is relevant?

Even in HL7, it's difficult to find things, because while HL7 itself records information about all the standards it publishes (and these are also reported to ANSI), but international affiliates of HL7 also develop standards for use within their respective realms.

Building such an index would be a difficult project, as there isn't really even a standardized format for documenting standards (each SDO has at least one, and some have different formats depending on the type of project).

And determining what the appropriate inclusion criteria for such an index would also be challenging. Does HTTP belong in such an index?  What about OAuth or OpenID Connect?  What about Direct? These are all examples of more general purpose IT efforts, some of which were created specifically to meet the needs of Healthcare.

It's an interesting challenge, perhaps even one worthy of a capstone project.



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