Internationalization of HL7
Publication date: Sep 25, 2014
Some aspects of the internationalization of HL7 came up during the HL7 meeting held in Chicago.
HL7 changed its name to 'HL7 International' a few years ago. Whilst HL7 International jointly
with its affiliate organizations does certainly span the globe – a change in name doesn't turn HL7 International into a
truly global player overnight however. That's an effort that was initiated years ago, and will take many more years –
in order to change its organizational structures and its governance models, but even more so to achieve a change of minds of all
those involved. (I previously wrote about the internationalization issue in 2009)
- During last weeks' HL7 Working Group Meeting (WGM) the HL7 Board of Directors accepted a motion to
create a European Strategic Advisory Board, with a seat on the board of HL7 International.
This reminded me of a proposed
structure for the HL7 Board from 2008, whereby there would be 4 directors representing different geographic
regions around the world. That proposal has never been accepted as far as I know; having a European
representative on the board would seem to be a step in the right direction.
- The HL7 Board has an Advisory Council consisting of industry representatives.
Only two of its (Sept. 2014) members are from outside of the US: - which doesn't align at all with the global use and orientation of the
HL7 organization. The Advisory Council is mostly 'virtual' in nature, which means that the hurdle for participants is fairly low.
As such it's a mystery as to why we don’t have significant representation of the health IT industry from other countries.
Membership is 'by invitation only' and a such an effort to create a truly representative advisory council should probably be made.
- HL7 organizes three WGMs a year, usually in the US – the May 2015 (Paris, France) and May 2016 (Montreal, Canada) WGMs will be held elsewhere,
in the full knowledge that a different cost/revenue model applies at such locations, which turns them into more of a financial risk than a
meeting held in the US. Nevertheless, the HL7 Board has decided that there shall be regular meetings outside of the US.
Given the geographical distribution of the HL7 members it makes sense to distribute WGMs around the globe. Again a good sign that the mindset
(when it comes to the internationalization of HL7) is changing.
- When it comes to marketing HL7 recently hired a new (part time) resource.
Up to now HL7s marketing efforts have failed to be global in nature.
Given the current organizational structure most of the revenue of HL7 International is sourced in the US,
which is why the focus of the marketing effort is on the US. From a global perspective the potential for
growth mainly lies outside of the US (which has a market that’s well saturated with HL7). A global marketing effort is hwoever difficult to achieve, given all of the
economic and sociocultural differences between the various countries - it would take a considerable effort to move from a US centric marketing strategy to a global one.
- We'll have to see whether Doug Fridsma (the chair elect of HL7), whilst having excellent qualifications in Health IT standardization in the US,
will be able to “think globally” and push the internationalization of HL7 forward.
Irrespective of the country where a chair may have come from – acquiring a mindset and willingness to think globally is a challenge.
The HL7 Board has created a Internationalization Taskforce to tackle the internationalization issue - I haven't got a clue what they're doing,
but it's certainly a good sign that it exists.
Mind you, this post was written in the full knowledge that it's just plain hard to think globally. My business activies take me all accross Europe,
and I realize that my comments are influenced by being european-centric. At least that tends to have the (positive, IMHO) effect that one is confronted with
the use of HL7 in different settings, contexts and healthcare systems.
I intent to write an update to this post about 5 years from now, let's see what has happened.
PermaLink to this page: http://www.ringholm.com/column/Internationalization_of_HL7_part2.htm
Index of columns:
- Internationalization of HL7 (Sep 25, 2014)
- New XDS Advanced training course on offer by IHE Services and IHE Academy (Jul 14, 2014)
- Recent and Future developments of the DICOM standard (Mar 06, 2014)
- Top 10 HL7 videos watched in 2013 (Jan 02, 2014)
- Report from the HL7 WGM in Cambridge (Oct 16, 2013)
- Documenting the history of HL7 (Sep 03, 2013)
- Histology Lab Device Automation using HL7 version 2 (Jul 23, 2013)
- HL7 FHIR Elevator Pitch (Jul 15, 2013)
- Interoperability Standards - the no-sales pitch (Jul 09, 2013)
- HL7 UK - new landscape, new opportunities (Jun 26, 2013)
- Validation and error correction at the IHE Connectathon (Apr 25, 2013)
- CDA Implementation Guides - (not) invented here (Apr 17, 2013)
- Usage of IHE Profiles (Feb 25, 2013)
- 10 year anniversary - Dutch Ringholm HL7 v2 training courses. (Feb 19, 2013)
- About IHE Academy and new IHE training courses (Jan 12, 2013)
- CDA implementation experiences in the UK (Dec 04, 2012)
- Musings on free HL7 IP (Oct 01, 2012)
- HL7 Connectathons (Sep 09, 2012)
- Renovate HL7 version 3 (Aug 03, 2012)
- Frequency of use of HL7 message types (Jul 24, 2012)
- Lighting the FHIR, HL7s new major interoperability standard (Jun 15, 2012)
- Reflections on the HL7 membership model - the affiliate life cycle (Dec 28, 2011)
- Thinking like an OWL reasoner (Sep 17, 2011)
- RFH (Resources for Health): HL7 version 3 taken to the next step (Aug 18, 2011)
- What's so great about the HL7 organization? (Aug 04, 2011)
- Kerndossier: een Nederlandse versie van CCD (Dutch, May 03, 2011)
- A HL7 RIMBAA update (Apr 21, 2011)
- Timezone Hotel (Mar 29, 2011)
- HL7 and openEHR are cooperating (finally) (Jan 21, 2011)
- Increasing demand for IHE training courses (Dec 18, 2010)
- Context issues with the IHE QED profile (Dec 15, 2010)
- The changing role of HL7 country organizations (Jul 16, 2010)
- Implementing HL7 version 3 - the book (May 06, 2010)
- Adding openness to a closed world (Feb 09, 2010)
- How to lower the hurdle for HL7 v3 implementers (Jan 21, 2010)
- HL7 v3 deployment statistics (Dec 17, 2009)
- There's Trouble in Paradigm (Sep 25, 2009)
- Internationalization of HL7 (Sep 24, 2009)
- HL7 UK signs deal with Ringholm to deliver HL7 v2/v3 training courses in London (Sep 17, 2009)
- The use of HL7 in South Africa (Aug 20, 2009)
- The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam (Apr 17, 2009)
- The HL7 UK AGM and RIMBAA (Apr 16, 2009)
- The HL7 Wiki reaches 2000 pages (Mar 02, 2009)
- The HL7 roadmap for CDA R3 and the CCD (Jan 17, 2009)
- HL7 Affiliates Meeting in Orlando (Jan 11, 2009)
- Swiss and Dutch HL7 News (Dec 31, 2008)
- Devices and Prizes (Nov 22, 2008)
- HL7 in Norway: a situation report (Sep 02, 2008)
- Russian whitepaper (Jul 09, 2008)
- The HL7 Interoperability Conference - IHIC 2008 (May 30, 2008)
- HL7 creates a RIM Based Application Architecture (RIMBAA) group (May 18, 2008)
- Notes from the HL7 WGM in Phoenix (May 08, 2008)
- Germany embraces CDA eReferral document specification (May 02, 2008)
- HL7 v3 RIM based applications: an unintended side effect (Jan 19, 2008)
- Collaborative Tools (Jun 21, 2007)
- HL7 ist Pflicht in der deutschen Telematikinfrastruktur (German, Mar 16, 2007)
- HL7 based Tree inventory system (Jan 30, 2007)
- The link between HL7 and Open Source Software (Jan 06, 2007)
- Workflow Bribery (Sep 15, 2006)
- Timezones in HL7 (Jan 23, 2004)
- Controlled vocabularies: "@*%!!!" ? (Sep 01, 2003)
- Trusting the other Party (Nov 01, 2002)
About Ringholm bv
Ringholm bv is a group of European experts in the field of messaging standards and systems integration in healthcare IT.
We provide the industry's most advanced training courses and consulting on healthcare information exchange standards.
See http://www.ringholm.com or call +31 33 7 630 636 for additional information.
Rene is the Tutor-in-chief of Ringholm.