As the year draws to an end it is customary to reflect back on what was achieved during the year, and what the New Year may bring. From the perspective of healthcare standards (particularly HL7) this has been a great year! Internationally we have seen the new interoperability standard – FHIR – going from strength to strength with pretty much every country on the planet doing something with it, from real production deployments to pilots. We’ve also seen increasing co-operation between HL7 and other Standards Development Organizations such as IHTSDO (SNOMED), openEHR and CIMI in our objective to improve the delivery of care to the patient.
Locally, we’ve held a couple of well attended seminars – including one that was aimed at clinicians rather than implementers as we grappled with how to represent Adverse Drug Reactions in FHIR. I’m personally keen to get Clinicians and Business Analysts – and the educated Consumer – more involved. FHIR makes it easier than it has ever been to involve ‘non technical’ people in this important work, and it certainly helps that HISO and the National IT Board endorsed FHIR as an endorsed interoperability standard for new Zealand.
But it’s looking forward to next year that is the most exciting, as we seem to have a real convergence from different parts of the sector on interoperability. A perfect storm of activity.
From the national IT Board we had the announcement at HINZ of the ‘National EHR’ – a ‘longitudinal health record’ holding common data about people and supporting common functionality that is critical for the safe and effective delivery of healthcare. This will provide FHIR based API’s that application vendors can use for innovative applications using a common set of patient data and easy to use APIs. HISO is fully engaged in this process – expect to see some announcement of workshops and events soon! (and a very aggressive timeline…)
And from the vendor community we had the announcement that some of the larger and more forward looking vendors in New Zealand are intending to collaborate to deliver ‘precision medicine’ – an underpinning of which is the collection of structured, coded data that can serve as the basis of the analytics required to support this. It is hoped – and intended – that all vendors in New Zealand become engaged in this. Our very own ‘project Argonaut’.
So enjoy the Christmas break, have a happy New Year and get ready for the adventure!
Dr David Hay
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