Friday, October 21, 2011

Summary of ONC S&I Framework Face to Face Meeting

I attended the ONC Standards and Interoperability Framework Face to Face Meeting in Washington, DC the week of October 17. This is a summary of the meeting and my travels.

I decided to attend the Workgroup leads meeting that started at 3pm on Monday, even though my workgroup was not meeting. The two CDA related workgroups do their face to face meeting during the HL7 Work Group meetings, and so do not attend the ONC Face to Face. The corporate travel system put me on a flight that departed Detroit at 6am, which meant that I left the house before 4am. My brother Rob came out to watch my dog, Sonny, while I was out, which was very nice of him. The flights were uneventful and I made it to the hotel at about 1pm.

The work group leads meeting was interesting. There were many folks that I know through HL7 in the room and it was nice to say hello to them. I met with the Transitions of Care work group leads because the CDA workgroups are part of ToC. Doug Fridsma stopped in at about 5:30 pm and thanked us for our efforts. He gave an entertaining speech about his goals for the initiative.

I went to dinner with the ToC workgroup leads. I am not a huge fish fan, but the shrimp were fine.

The first full day of the conference began with greeting more colleagues that I had not seen in a while. One friend had some good news concerning a project in his state. Two colleagues from my company were also attending, so we divided up the workgroups so that we had some coverage in most of them.

The following groups were meeting:

  • Transitions of Care
  • Laboratory Results Interface
  • Provider Directory
  • Data Segmentation
  • Query Health
  • Electronic Submission of Medical Data (esMD)

The last three groups are relatively new. I attended the Provider Directory meeting in Q1. We are implementing Provider Directory support for a customer that could not wait until the PD workgroup finalized its implementation guidance. We took our best guess at some things and know that we will have to make some changes once the PD workgroup publishes its final recommendations.  My two work colleagues attended the LRI, Query Health and ToC sessions.

I enjoyed a cigar outside during our lunch break.

I switched to the Data Segmentation workgroup for Q2 through Q4. This is a new initiative and I have sat through the introductory material that they presented in Q1 several times. This is an interesting initiative that focuses on implementing patient privacy preferences in EHRs. The initial focus in on restricting access to Substance Abuse (42CFR Part 2) and Self Pay information. We do not implement this well, so I hope to be able to learn from this initiative. We have several state-wide Health Information Exchange projects in production as well as several Beacon Initiatives and ACOs, so we can actually implement this in real world settings and provide feedback on what works well and what does not. We considered initial User Stories, and it was interesting to have experts on the regulations in the room providing feedback.

At the end of the day, many of us gathered in the hotel bar for some refreshment. Doug Fridsma stopped by and chatted with most of us. He explained his vision of moving from Templated CDA to Green CDA to support the PCAST vision of a Universal Exchange Language for healthcare. I blogged about this over the summer, but it was nice to see that I did understand it.

On day two, I met with the Data Segmentation group during the morning. We reviewed the changes that we had made to the User Stories based on yesterday’s feedback. Then folks in the room gave short presentations on how they might be able to assist in implementing the initiative. Since we have operational exchanges, I think we will be able to implement some of this fairly quickly.

I attended a presentation on the Model Driven Health Tools (MDHT) and the upcoming S&I Framework Repository during lunch. I’ve worked with MDHT since early in the year as part of the CDA IG consolidation project. It was nice to finally meet the principal author if MDHT in person after countless hours on teleconferences. It turns out that he lives in Montana and works with one of the provider groups that will be joining HealthShare Montana, which is a state-wide HIE that I am the architect of. It is a small world. The repository demo was interesting, and I look forward to actually seeing it once it goes live.

I met with the Provider Directory group in Q3. They are finalizing implementation guidance for PDs. We implemented IHE’s Healthcare Provider Directory (HPD) support into our ProviderLink product. That should be placed in to production next month. We’ll be listed as a pilot implementation by the initiative.

I left the hotel at about 4pm to get to the airport for my flight back to Detroit. It was raining pretty hard as we left DC. We were delayed slightly getting in to Atlanta, but I had plenty of time before my flight to Detroit. We were actually delayed in leaving Atlanta because our plane did not arrive on time. The flight back to Detroit was uneventful, and I was home shortly after 1am. It was a long day.

When I got to the office, I attended a meeting and discovered that we will actually be implementing  esMD for a customer.

The ONC S&I Framework loves implementers. None of this stuff is any good until we get it out into the real world and make it work.