Events and News

Members Notice - AGM Monday 6th November 2017, Auckland

posted Oct 9, 2017, 8:45 PM by Linda McKay   [ updated Oct 9, 2017, 9:03 PM ]

The 2017 Annual General Meeting of HL7NZ will take place at 4pm Monday 6 November at 

Agenda, Nomination / Proxy Forms, 2016 AGM Minutes and Constitution review document can be found below.

HL7NZ Seminar at HINZ 2017 – NZ Clinicians on FHIR

posted Aug 20, 2017, 1:10 PM by Linda McKay   [ updated Oct 4, 2017, 2:40 AM by Ray Murakami ]

This all-day event held as part of the HINZ annual conference on Tuesday 31 October in Rotorua, is aimed at people with only a minimal (or no) understanding of the new HL7® FHIR® (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) standard to help them understand what FHIR is, how it fits in the context of sharing health information, and what are the advantages it will bring to those in the business of delivering (and receiving) healthcare in New Zealand - and overseas! The major presenter will be HL7 New Zealand Chair Emeritus, Dr David Hay – member of the FHIR Management Group and author of the ClinFHIR tool used at Clinicians on FHIR events around the globe.


Aimed specifically at Clinicians, Healthcare Informaticians and Business Analysts -  but also useful for Implementers and Developers - it will combine presentations and practical exercises using clinFHIR to ensure that participants are empowered to engage in the projects where FHIR will be used, such as the National EHR project in New Zealand.


We'll start with an overview of the FHIR standard, describing the core Resources, how they are combined to tell a clinical story and the different ways that they can be exchanged – real-time API, Messaging or Documents. Following this will be a practical exercise where participants will use clinFHIR to model an actual clinical scenario.


Next up will be a discussion on coded information (using terminologies such as SNOMED CT®), the value and importance of doing so, and how FHIR can interact with Terminology Servers to make this complex task easier. You'll then have another exercise to 'codify' the scenario you built earlier.  After this we'll talk about Profiling - adapting FHIR to specific use cases. This is especially important for people to understand, as creating New Zealand specific Profiles is something that The Sector will increasingly be doing and we'll need to have as wide an input as possible from those who will be most affected by this - clinicians and patients. Again, this will be a combination of presentation material, discussion and practical exercises.


You are encouraged to register early (at for this important event as seating is limited - and bring your laptop!


Cybersecurity in Health - Tuesday 1st August

posted Jul 18, 2017, 1:51 PM by Linda McKay

Cyber security: Some IT people think it is a business problem, some business people think it's an IT problem. Any board Chairperson will tell you that when you've been hit, it's a problem for both!

This workshop is specifically designed to bridge the gap between IT and Business to manage the risk of cyber security.

At this important event you will:

  • Meet key government and private sector experts
  • Hear best practice and ask questions to get immediate advice
  • Find out what has changed in the policy area and upskill yourself

The safety of your organisation and its clients depends on it.

    Programme includes:

    • Who is trying to hack you?
    • What the future and new technologies will bring
    • You've been hacked! Recovery and remediation
    • What does an Incident Response Plan look like?

    You will hear about the latest Government policies and tactics, developing an incident response plan, practical case studies, AI/machine learning, blockchain, cloud, mobile devices, IoT, and the pros/cons of outsourcing and insurance.

    Plus there will be lots of audience interaction - so you can ask questions and get expert answers.


    • Peter Plowman, Senior Manager Cyber Crime, Kiwibank
    • Hector Rodriguez, Worldwide Health Chief Information Security Officer, Microsoft
    • Richard Harrison, Chief Information Security Officer, healthAlliance
    • Chris Blackford, Department of Internal Affairs
    • Ted Christiansen, Ministry of Health
    • Hayley Power, Senior Engagement Advisor, CERT
    • Heather Ward, Principal Advisor, National Cyber Policy Office
    • Graeme Neilson, CISO & Head of Research, Red Shield
    • Dr Alan Litchfield, Director, Service and Cloud Computing Research Lab, AUT
    • Rick Ferguson, Cylance
    • Sean Au, Founder,
    • Mandy Simpson, CEO, Cyber Toa
    • Mike Gollop, Chief Technology Officer, Conporto Health
    • Dr Karolyn Kerr, Consulting Advisor, Conporto Health
    • Liz Schoff, Director, Pleione Consulting
    • Boris Wilkitzki, Managing Director, Computer and Network Solutions
    • Steve Walsham, Crombie Lockwood Insurance
    • Tim Sewell, Security Manager, Computer Concepts
    • PLUS more speakers to be announced soon...

    Download preliminary programme

    Register online now.

    IHIC 2017 - Athens, Greece

    posted May 30, 2017, 2:15 PM by Linda McKay   [ updated May 30, 2017, 2:16 PM ]

    The deadline for submitting scientific full papers or practice reports to IHIC 2017 in Athens is getting closer.
    Paper submission deadline has been extended to Sunday, June 11th.


    HL7: On the Path to Interoperability

    posted Apr 27, 2017, 7:07 PM by Linda McKay

    By attending this webinar, you'll learn what steps healthcare providers are taking in building optimized HL7 application environments.

    Highlights Include:

    • Overview of HL7 standards

    • The HL7 role in health data interoperability

      What you'll learn

      HL7 is growing as a wide-ranging solution to the requirement for improved interoperability. But merely conforming to HL7 specifications is not enough to deliver superior ITperformance. This webinar will provide an update through insights into the Standards and explore the steps that healthcare providers are taking in building optimized HL7 application environments.

      After an insightful update and examination of HL7 from a standards perspective, this educational session will discuss strategies that are working in service assurance.  Strategies that will be discussed include building bridges with other departments and assessing business needs.  Attendees will learn how HL7 can be leveraged for optimized IT service assurance.  

      During this webinar, you’ll learn:

    • Overview of HL7 standards

    • The role of HL7 toward achieving health data interoperability

    • How they differ and where they're used

    • Insight into how HL7 is evolving, particularly with the rapid adoption of HL7 FHIR Restful services

    • How to leverage HL7 to uncover the full context of IT service anomalies across multiple layers which may be contributing to slow application response times and poor user experience in transmitting health information.  That is, health information such as administrative and clinical data between hospital information systems could include:

      • Reduce time to pinpoint source of interoperability issues

      • Troubleshoot network slowdowns rapidly

      • Improve analysis of HL7 interoperability services

      • Decrease analysis time of message sender and receiver issues

    • Learn about the benefits of leveraging IT service assurance technology to achieve benefits for HL7 in healthcare environments:

      • Quickly and Efficiently Triage Service Degradations for HL7 and Other Healthcare Applications

      • Assure High Quality Patient-care User Experience

      • Improve IT Team Collaboration

      • Reduce Monitoring and Vendor Management Complexities and Costs

        READ MORE

    News and Views from HIMSS 2017

    posted Apr 23, 2017, 6:17 PM by Linda McKay

    News and Views from HIMSS 2017

    Produced by Martin Entwistle

    Board Member HL7 New Zealand



    This paper provides a personal view of highlights from the Health Information Management Systems Society Conference (HIMSS) 2017, which took place in Orlando Florida February 19-23, 2017.


    Despite the uncertainties over future directions for healthcare in the US, resulting from the new administration, there was significant buzz in several areas of strategic importance with significant potential impact on health systems development in the near to medium term.


    The following are the themes that appear to be of particular importance, and with relevance to the New Zealand health sector. The list is not comprehensive, other themes that have importance to those working in more narrow or specialized fields are not included:


    • Consumerization of patient care and customer experience

    • AI and cognitive computing

    • Advancing value-based care

    • Population health, connected health and patient engagement

    • Improving interoperability between the connected health world and EHR systems

    • Cloud computing and security for the digital healthcare enterprise


    Consumerization of Patient Care and Customer Experience


    Over the last 5 years there has been an accelerating awareness of a significant social change in the way people seek to engage with and consume traditional healthcare services. The organization Health 2.0 has been leading discussion on this through its conferences and workshops, initially with an emphasis on the disruptive potential of new market entrants with a consumer products and services and more recently increasing interest from mainstream healthcare providers, insurers and vendors. At this Conference the importance of addressing consumerism in healthcare was explicit, with the many and wide-ranging implications being presented and discussed.


    Consumerization is about the changing role of consumers (patients) from being a reactive recipient of care to playing a more proactive role in being in control of how they manage their own health, seeking services that focus on wellness rather than just sick-care, being better informed about the choices available and demanding services that better fit their day-to-day lives rather than for the convenience of the health system itself.


    This was a common theme throughout the conference. Providers are accepting that this is no longer a future-state concept, but a major dimension of future healthcare delivery that needs to be taken seriously and addressed as a priority. A number of presenters observed that failure to address this deep-seated need by patients represents a major threat if not tackled, with patients moving to alternate providers or accessing services outside mainstream healthcare that do address their needs.


    The implications for health systems development are significant, as the systems and services required to meet these needs are very different from those currently available, and the detailed requirements are still not well defined. Relevant solutions include; customer relationship management systems to profile and engage with individuals even when not sick, devices and apps to support behavior change and wellness, big data analytics to help anticipate needs and intervene preemptively, remote managed care including telemedicine and video visits. Of critical importance is not just the functionality these new systems provide, but the experience they generate. Reference models for success are closer to Amazon, Facebook and Salesforce than they are to the health systems currently in place.


    AI and Cognitive Computing


    Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not new to healthcare. In the 1980s and ‘90s AI was the focus of significant research and development efforts. At that time, AI solutions were built around fuzzy logic, and neural networks used to develop predictive learning systems. There were some interesting results but they did not have sufficient accuracy to become widely adopted. As a result, AI has been on the sidelines for some years.


    But no longer! AI is once again a hot topic. Solutions are again focused on predictive analytics, but with methods developed through big-data mining systems that have been evolving over the last 5 – 7 years, and resulting in solutions very different than before. They include the application of machine learning, reasoning, natural language processing, data mining, human-computer interaction to deliver advanced analytics.


    There are many companies big and small active in the area offering both broad and narrow solutions. Among the big companies, and while still on the cutting edge, IBM, Google and Microsoft are taking a major role in leading the way forward. However, IBM-Watson was definitely the most prominent of these at HIMSS 2017.


    AI systems are undoubtedly complex and historically their use for the development of solutions has been in the hands of experts in the area. Once of the new developments presented at the Conference is the availability of AI analytics tools as cloud-based services. This has the potential to widely expand their use as it puts the tools in the hands of a wider range of developers to build these into their solutions.


    Encouragingly, much of the energy is going into practical uses of these solutions to ensure these have wide-scale value in the real world and directly impact patient care and the outcomes achieved. One of the challenges experienced historically was that the underlying fuzzy methods were not easily understandable, so the outputs were viewed with some skepticism, particularly by doctors. With this new wave of solutions ease of use and believability are significant areas of focus. Indeed, a whole new area of technology is being created, “cognitive computing”.


    Cognitive computing systems depend on various aspects of artificial intelligence (AI) to acquire knowledge from the massive amount of data fed into to them. Outputs focus on getting the right information to the right user at the right time and in an impactful format so that rapid decision making without further information processing can be achieved. Uses include matching the patient to specific tailored interventions. For example using genetic data inputs to identify optimal clinical interventions for that patient. Natural Language processing can mine intelligence from unstructured clinical notes and link that information from other clinical inputs to identify patients with specific but hard to identify risks, eg depression.


    Some companies are ‘betting the bank” on the future importance of cognitive computing. Ginni Rometty, IBM chief executive, in a key-note presentation said that cognitive computing technologies could usher in a golden era for personalized and precision medicine. “We’re in a moment when we can actually transform pieces of healthcare. It’s within our power”. “This era that will play out in front of us can change the world for the better.”


    Advancing Value-based Care


    In the US, value-based care is seen as critical to addressing rising health care costs, clinical inefficiency and duplication of services. In value-based models, doctors and hospitals are paid for helping keep people healthy and for improving the health of those who have chronic conditions in an evidence-based, cost-effective way. This contrasts with the traditional fee-for-service approach, where payments are made on the basis of services provided irrespective of the outcomes achieved.


    Under “Obamacare” the US government strongly signaled a major shift to value based care by enacting MACRA (Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act), that would cut physicians base salaries and put more emphasis on incenting quality outcomes. MACRA combines parts of the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Value-based Payment Modifier (VBM), and the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive program into one single program called the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, or MIPS.


    Presentations at the Conference outlined that in the recent past, four models have evolved for the delivery of value-based care:


    Accountable care organization (ACO) - Accountable care organizations are alliances of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers that deliver and coordinate care for their patients and are paid based on their success at improving overall quality, cost and patient satisfaction with their health care experience. In an ACO, providers are responsible for improving the quality of patient care and health outcomes, at equal or lower costs, through better coordination and preventive care.


    Patient-centered medical home (PCMH) - In a PCMH, a primary care doctor leads a clinical team that oversees the care of each patient in a practice, and is focused on providing enhanced care coordination across the health care system. Financial incentives are based on performance on specific quality measures. When practices do well on quality and efficiency measures, they share in the savings they create. While still fee-for-service, this entry-level value-based model encourages quality and efficiency.


    Bundled payments - In a bundled payment model, a single payment is made to doctors or health care facilities (or jointly to both) for all services associated with an episode-of-care, such as a hip or knee replacement. “Bundled payment rates” are determined based on the costs expected for a particular treatment, as well as costs for any preventable complications that may arise.


    President Trump’s promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which underpins “Obamacare” is what is leading to much uncertainty over the future of value-based care. Nonetheless, there was a general consensus at the Conference that the shift to value-based care and that quality payment programs very similar to those developed under MACRA, will continue.


    However, the transition from fee-for-service to pay-for-value payment models is one of the greatest challenges the U.S. healthcare system faces. Management of value-based services is data intensive and requires new business processes and workflows. Few provider organizations have the necessary end-to-end clinical, financial and administrative systems in place and there were a significant number of vendors offering such solutions as well as the advisory services for implementation and management.


    Population Health, Connected Health and Patient Engagement


    Population health management (PHM) is one of the fastest-growing segments in U.S. healthcare systems development. It was reported at the Conference that the majority of $8 billion in US digital health investments during 2016 went to support complex PHM initiatives. At the same time PHM solutions are a major area for development by existing vendors large and small.


    One of the interesting battles being played out, is whether advanced PHM solutions should be delivered as core capabilities of EHR systems or through specialized applications. In addition to EHR vendors Epic, Cerner, Allscripts and AthenaHealth providing solutions to their existing customers, the following vendors were identified among others as being well established in the provision of solutions and services; Optum, Philips Wellcentive, Caradigm, Lightbeam, Deloitte, Health Catalyst, Enli, Premier, i2i, Medicity, Lumeris, Best Doctor, Medecision, ZeOmega, Influence, Humana Transcend Insights, Conduent (Xerox), Cognizant Trizetto, Orion Health.


    To give some idea of the challenges for systems development, six diverse functional components were presented as being necessary to deliver the full-scope of required PHM capabilities:


    • Data collection aggregation, storage and patient registries

    • Connectivity and identification of gaps in care

    • Big data stratification and risk segmentation/cost metrics

    • Patient engagement and external data acquisition

    • Care team coordination and management

    • Outcomes measurement, reporting and analytics


    As advanced solutions increasingly need to make use of some of the more complex computing capabilities previously identified in this paper, in particular patient engagement, cognitive computing and AI, it is going to be hard for any vendor to provide solutions that meet all these needs and it will be especially hard for EHR vendors to keep up with the pace of development. This suggests that future solutions will be created through seamless integration of systems capabilities from multiple vendors.


    Improving Interoperability Between the Connected Health World and EHR Systems


    Digital and personal connected health was the subject of its own 2 day forum at the Conference, accompanied by a booth in the exhibition hall providing a series of case studies and demonstrations by over 50 companies active in the area.


    Connected health embraces a number of technology domains broadly encompassed by the Internet of Things (IoT); medical and consumer devices for remote patient monitoring, mHealth apps for collection and display of data as well as direct interaction with users, advanced data mining, interpretation and presentation capabilities. New devices, wearable sensors and mobile apps now track fitness, behaviours and many important clinical measures, with the promise of even more complex and interesting metrics becoming available in the near future. It is a dynamic and expansive market, exploding with opportunity.


    The resulting patient-generated health data (PGHD) is available to be flowed into EHRs to help improve engagement, adherence and clinical outcomes; individuals are connecting with providers through portals and apps to manage chronic conditions, and telemedicine is enabling a growing number of virtual visits. Functionality including gamification adopted from the consumer space is being leveraged to drive both sustained engagement and positive behavior change.


    Connected Health already has the potential to improve care delivery across the healthcare continuum, with the promise of adding even greater value in the future. However, as more healthcare providers and plans embrace these technologies, they’re running into interoperability, regulatory, and cultural challenges. Case studies, best practices, and panel discussions, presented at the Conference outlined tools, technologies and strategies designed to address these challenges. A number of presenters called out that Connected Health represents a fundamental change in the way we provide healthcare services that require new systems, delivery models and workflows, and even more importantly a fundamental cultural shift to the total approach to service delivery prevention and remote engagement at large scale with the people for whom health systems are responsible.


    A closely related theme is that EHR interoperability continues to be a barrier to progress, and is general and pervasive. Many of the EHR vendors presented work they are doing to overcome these barriers; openAPIs, adoption of interfacing standards (eg FHIR) and use of webapps, but progress is not as fast as many would like. This issue is a particular challenge to the seamless delivery of connected health capabilities into the clinical workflow which are is critical to adoption and use. In parallel, there is significant work underway to simplify EHR integration and facilitate sophisticated data exchange between organizations. FHIR was covered in many presentations and received significant interest for its potential to assist with this particular challenge.


    Cloud Computing and Security for the Digital Healthcare Enterprise


    Cloud computing and security in the digital healthcare enterprise, which for health systems development are closely linked, were also major themes at the Conference.


    A move to healthcare solutions that have been formally developed and deployed to leverage cloud computing capabilities has significant potential, but to date, healthcare world-wide has been slow to embrace these opportunities. There are a number of reasons; most healthcare providers have significant investment in on-prem deployments of their all-critical clinical systems including EHRs, migration appears potentially costly and to have significant risks even if the end results would have economic and business advantages, but probably the most significant barrier has been the perceived security risks.


    The issue is around ensuring complete protection of electronic personal health information (ePHI), and the proven solutions available to healthcare IT teams that still rely on tried and tested, locally deployed security measures, eg network and endpoint security tools.


    But the tides of change can no longer be held back and the healthcare industry is increasingly adopting the cloud, with health systems realizing the significant cost savings of contracting their data-center operations. This opens up important questions having to do with data being held in compliance with HIPAA-HITECH; whether ePHI is being encrypted and, if so, where the keys reside and how organizations can port their data from one cloud provider to another if needed.


    The other hot topic in this space is medical device security and there were a number of educational sessions dedicated to this topic. Groups like the Medical Device Security Information Sharing Council (MDSISC) and NH-ISAC are focusing much-needed attention on medical device security, and there is growing momentum for security to be incorporated at the point of manufacture as opposed to being an afterthought.




    In summary, this was one of the most interesting and invigorating HIMSS Conferences I’ve attended. While healthcare world-wide face very significant challenges, it seems that the health system development space finally has a range of truly exciting and in many ways disruptive solutions with very real potential to address these challenges. These systems are not only novel in concept, but can facilitate totally new business processes that if well implemented can provide the very different healthcare experience that is it now clear many individuals are seeking. Our ability to address this need  will materially impact the future care of healthcare, leading to a world very different that we know today.


    HIMMSS Conference 2017

    FHIR front continues to expand with localisation under way

    posted Apr 8, 2017, 3:08 PM by Ray Murakami

    From Pulse+IT:

    "HL7 Australia is working on a localised version of the FHIR specification as local implementations start to take off, with early adopter Telstra Health already exploring its potential to link up its disparate business units, implementations in several medications management projects and a mobile gateway for the My Health Record under development."

    The article:

    HL7NZ Annual Mid Year Seminar - 29 May 2017

    posted Mar 29, 2017, 12:55 PM by Linda McKay   [ updated Apr 30, 2017, 6:02 PM ]

    “Igniting Interoperability: Building a NZ Digital Health Ecosystem with HL7® FHIR® and SNOMED CT®

    9am – 4pm Monday 29th May 2017 at Novotel, Auckland Airport MAP

    This event is aimed at business analysts, project and product managers, architects and designers from the digital health community.  Topics include:

    • NZ Digital Health Strategy and updates on the National EHR project (to set the scene on the need for interoperability to be predicated on standards-based APIs)

    • The New Zealand Vision for Interoperability Charter.

    • The business level case for using FHIR R3 to build standards-based APIs, with bindings to SNOMED CT.

    • Challenges in using these standards to achieve true interoperability in the NZ Health & Disability Sector - including testing and compliance, plus lessons learned from existing services such as GP2GP.

    • Developing local FHIR artefacts – extensions, identifiers and profiles – in partnership with HISO, following widespread community engagement.

    • Common Services – such as Terminology, Provider Directories, etc.

    Invited Presenters:

    Darren Douglass:  Deputy Chief Technology & Digital Services Officer – eHealth, Technology & Digital Services, Ministry of Health

    Scott Arrol: Chief Executive Officer and Director – NZHIT

    Peter Jordan: Chair HL7 New Zealand 

    Alastair Kenworthy: Manager Health IT Investment & Standards, Technology & Digital Services, Ministry of Health


    • Current corporate members $150

    • Current individual members $175

    • Standard $250 (includes 1 year individual membership)

    • Students $80  (includes 1 year student membership)

    • HINZ Member Reciprocal Discount $175 (must be a current member of HINZ)

    Fees includes refreshments, lunch and networking drinks function plus free parking in Car Park A


    PLUS….at this Event, participate in discussions on breaking international news!

    HL7 is pleased to announce that release 3 of FHIR has just been published.

    The FHIR community invested a huge amount of work in this release – hundreds of people have contributed to the specification, and there have been thousands of Change Proposals processed (>2400). Most of these change proposals arose from 3 different places:

    •  Implementation Experience (Trial use is working)
    • Alignment with other standards

    • Internal Quality Review processes


      Some of the key changes:

    • Added support for Clinical Decision Support and Clinical Quality Measures

    • Broadened functionality to cover key clinical workflows

    • Further development of Terminology Services, and support for Financial Management

    • Defined an RDF format, and how FHIR relates to Linked Data

    • Incremental improvements and increased maturity of the RESTful API and conformance framework  READ MORE

    BREAKING NEWS - Release 3 of FHIR

    posted Mar 22, 2017, 3:07 PM by Linda McKay   [ updated Mar 22, 2017, 3:08 PM ]

    HL7 is pleased to announce that release 3 of FHIR has just been published.


    The FHIR community invested a huge amount of work in this release – hundreds of people have contributed to the specification, and there have been thousands of Change Proposals processed (>2400). Most of these change proposals arose from 3 different places:


    • Implementation Experience (Trial use is working)

    • Alignment with other standards

    • Internal Quality Review processes

      Some of the key changes:


    • Added support for Clinical Decision Support and Clinical Quality Measures

    • Broadened functionality to cover key clinical workflows

    • Further development of Terminology Services, and support for Financial Management

    • Defined an RDF format, and how FHIR relates to Linked Data

    • Incremental improvements and increased maturity of the RESTful API and conformance framework

    •   READ MORE


    posted Mar 6, 2017, 1:17 PM by Linda McKay

    The FHIR trademarks represent the goodwill in the marketplace created by HL7 through its members and collaborators to create a standard for exchanging healthcare information electronically.

    Protection of the FHIR trademarks reinforces the connection between HL7 and FHIR and the projects that they represent; protection of the FHIR trademark protects the quality of the FHIR standard and ensures that the mark is only used for activities that promote our common mission. When HL7 members and collaborators and developers see the FHIR mark on a product, conference, publication, or seminar, they should be confident that those goods or services are of the highest quality and that they reinforce and support our common goals.  Read more in the PDF file below…

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