Gary Dickinson raised an important issue in commenting on my post. He said:
A fact check might have better served your endorsement of CIMI.
First Stan makes the statement that “the group agreed on [CIMI] principles and approach” and later lists a group of organizations. While these organizations may have participated in formative discussions at one point or another, they did not in fact all agree to CIMI principles and approaches.
Here are the specific facts.
HL7 attended the meeting in London where a consensus was developed that represents a draft of the statement that CIMI issued. Upon seeing the final draft HL7 specifically requested that its name be placed on the list of signatories to the document.
The document was carefully worded with respect to commitment. The specific wording is “Representatives from the following organizations participated in the construction of this statement of principles and plan.” Neither HL7 nor any other signatory SDO specifically endorsed the plan or give any indication that it would participate in preparing detailed clinical models or use them.
As I included this wording in my original post I don’t think that Gary’s implication of a factual error is well-founded.
Here is my opinion.
After 14 years of working the current basic model of the RIM, HL7 has not effectively addressed a huge percentage of the detailed clinical models that CIMI undertakes to address. (Blood pressure is but one specific example. All HL7 says is that blood pressure should be sent as an observation.) There is reason to believe that CIMI will create that content tout suite because it is really about consolidating existing work that has been done over the last twenty years and used operationally in a few important venues. It would be appropriate for HL7 to suspend judgement until it sees whether CIMI actualy can get through “storming, forming and norming” rapidly and produce a body of work that is valuable because it (a) covers a lot of material, and (b) is available to all parties in an electronic form that can easily be adapted to the tools used to build standards.
Once CIMI has had a chance to produce tangible models, HL7 (and other SDOs) can choose among these options:
- bend the modeling approach and governance a little in order to take in this big gulp of specific detail needed for interoperability
- decide that the gulp is really not that big, not worth giving up any control by bending, or
- redouble its efforts to independently arrive at the same body of work.
I strongly urge HL7 NOT to take a preemptive, doctrinaire “not invented here” position until the actual value of CIMI work product can be evaluated.
As an old-timer, who remembers when HL7 was much more about producing results than methodology, formal governance or standards-world diplomacy, I admire the CIMI approach. It will produce its better mousetrap first and let the world decide whether to beat a path to its door.
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