HL7 Invites Clinicians To Help With Standards

Posted on June 8, 2012 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare branding and communications expert with more than 25 years of industry experience. and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also worked extensively healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. She can be reached at @ziegerhealth or www.ziegerhealthcare.com.

I don’t know about you, but I’m always interested in ways in which clinicians get a chance to make health data use more to their liking.  In that spirit, here’s an item from Information Week which just caught my eye — one I think you’ll find it interesting too.

Apparently, the HL7 organization has launched a new pilot membership program allowing clinicians to join and share their knowledge of clinical requirements.  The hope is that clinicians will help HL7 develop in a direction that better supports patient-centered care, IW reports.

Anyone who’s involved in direct patient care, including doctors, nurses and pharmacists, can join HL7 for one year for $100.

Clinicians who join will be encouraged to plug in to the group and:

* Improve the usefulness and quality of HIT standards developed by the group, and by doing so, make EMRs more usable

* Help other members understand how data standards affect how they deliver care

* Make sure that HL7 standards can support useful exchange of data between EMRs and across HIEs

While one would hope HL7 takes clinician needs into account regardless  of whether they’re members, it’s good to see the organization making a real pitch for physician membership.

Hospitals, if you want to be at the cutting edge of interoperability I’d offer to pay even that trivial $100 and encourage clinicians to share what they learned within your organization.

By the way, I was particularly intrigued by a side issue mentioned in the article, which was that HL7 has created an infrastructure for connecting personal health data — notably genetic records, IW reports — to care delivery.

Tying in personalized medical data sounds like a very fruitful direction for future HL7 deployments, as it will encourage more such research and create the kind of virtuous cycle we all hope to see. (Research used, more research produced, more used, better care and so on…)