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The Official Blog of Health Level Seven® International

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Wayne Kubick

Wayne Kubick
Wayne Kubick is the Chief Technology Officer of Health Level Seven International

Recent Posts

API 101 – The Webinar

[fa icon="calendar'] May 14, 2019 4:04:53 PM / by Wayne Kubick posted in FHIR, HL7, health IT, news, API, SOA

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Join Our Webinar on May 22, 2019 at 12 pm Central!

API 101: An Introduction to APIs and How They Are Transforming Health IT

Webinar speakers and blog authors:

Wayne Kubick, HL7 CTO
John Orosco, CTO, Sansoro Health
Dave Levin, CMO, Sansoro Health

Application program interface (API) technology has transformed the digital economy and is now poised to do the same in health IT. The combination of the an increasingly robust HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) standard API and the rules proposed by ONC on interoperability will accelerate this trend. What should you know before diving in? Tune in to our live webinar on Wednesday May 22 at 12pm CT.

 APIs allow software applications to connect, communicate and collaborate through a combination of web services. This harnesses the power of internet “backbone” communication protocols to provide a secure channel for connecting two applications and standards like JSON and XML that provide data-interchange formats or “objects.”

APIs also allow businesses to collaborate more seamlessly. For example, businesses that ship packages via UPS can leverage the UPS API to easily track shipping status. This API hides the complexity of the UPS database and business logic. It’s an open API that is exposed to the world so almost anyone can use it. Simply register, learn how the API works and connect and your system can interrogate the UPS API, instantly retrieve the current status, and display it to your customers on your website or app.

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CTO Tooling Update: Neither a Sprint nor a Marathon

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 29, 2019 3:42:48 PM / by Wayne Kubick posted in FHIR, CDA, HL7, health IT, C-CDA, news, tooling, JIRA, Confluence

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Our ongoing tooling journey at HL7 continues, neither as a sprint nor a marathon.  For us, it’s really more like an odyssey – an ongoing journey where there is always something more to be done, another path to explore, and a final destination (retirement, for example) seems far out of reach.  In the case of HL7 tooling, a fair number of tooling retirements are well overdue.   

 

Despite the wait, it’s gratifying to see when tangible progress is actually achieved. On the Confluence front, we’re in the home stretch of phase 1 of the rollout, though there’s a whole new course to pursue just around the bend.  We now have all work groups on Confluence (!) and have also migrated many more projects, committees and collaborations. New functions and help features in Confluence (including a major facelift for confluence.hl7.org) are being added regularly, and you can keep up with these by checking the CTO Tooling Update page. This enabling platform is already unleashing many new opportunities within the HL7 community. Our next target is to work toward optimizing our processes with online forms and workflow. The online project scope statement (PSS) pilot is now available and will give us an opportunity to speed up reviews and approvals as well as make new projects more visible to the community in the hope we can avoid last minute catchups. 

 

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CTO Tooling Update: In Medias Res

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 17, 2018 2:26:12 PM / by Wayne Kubick posted in FHIR, HL7, health IT, news, tooling, JIRA, Confluence

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Every good story has a beginning, middle and end. First, we get hooked on the opening, which drives us ultimately towards a conclusion, but the real time and effort comes along the way.  While the middle is where most things happen, we can sometimes feel like we’re in a holding pattern there – until something tangible finally happens that directly affects what we do. 

This rings true with HL7’s transition to our new collaboration tooling environment built on Confluence and JIRA. The good thing is that we’re making steady progress on multiple fronts, with many more work groups in Confluence and the killer apps of JIRA Ballot and Unified Terminology Governance (UTG) becoming more palpable. On the other hand, we’re clearly still en route, perhaps able to imagine but not yet actually taste the promised rewards. This is understandable, since the mission of HL7 is the creation of standards, not the creation of tooling to help us achieve that. However, it’s tooling that directly affects us in the ways we develop HL7 standards.

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HL7 Website Gets a Facelift

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 3, 2018 11:58:42 AM / by Wayne Kubick posted in HL7, HL7 community, health IT, news

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Update from the CTO Wayne Kubick
 

You may have noticed that the HL7 website has a new look and feel. 

The newly launched public homepage is one component of a broader website redesign project with an overall focus to enhance the most widely used and frequently visited sections of the HL7.org.

We hope this redesign will:

  • Better highlight the value and benefits offered by HL7 to the healthcare community
  •  Increase the visibility of education and membership opportunities
  • Support HL7 mission, vision, strategic goals and initiatives
  • Provide new users with an appealing, responsive and mobile-friendly experience
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Another Type of Moonshot: Project Gemini

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 25, 2018 1:53:32 PM / by Wayne Kubick posted in FHIR, HL7, interoperability, IHE, Gemini, Sync4science, International Patient Summary

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Achieving healthcare interoperability at any level, by definition, requires at least two parties working together. Achieving it on a global scale requires a shared dedication of the many to the common good.  Consider the vision statements of two organizations:

  • HL7 International: “A world in which everyone can securely access and use the right health data when and where they need it.”
  • IHE International: “Enable seamless and secure access to health information that is usable whenever and wherever needed.”
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Tooling Update: Provisioning the Journey

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 8, 2018 10:04:52 AM / by Wayne Kubick posted in FHIR, HL7, work groups, collaboration

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The journey to an improved collaboration tooling infrastructure continues. My last update focused on the goal to make the Atlassian Confluence Wiki and Jira Issue Tracking tools available for use by HL7 work groups. These tools are now available for pilot use and are a sample of the myriad of benefits these tools may offer our global community.

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Partnering for Interoperability

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 15, 2016 11:50:32 AM / by Wayne Kubick posted in FHIR, HL7, BioPharma, Argonaut Project, interoperability, health IT, Payers, Clinicians

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The Spectrum of Interoperability

In a world of polychromatic nuance, it’s interesting to see how often some individuals try to see things in black and white.  This tendency also seems to apply to healthcare data interoperability, as if any given product, organization or service can be classified as either “interoperable” or not. To me it’s absolutely clear that interoperability is a spectrum, which can only be aspired to as a matter of degree. 

Any given player may be viewed as more or less interoperable, but not wholly interoperable, because we live in such a heterogeneous world, with science and medicine continuously evolving. But no matter how you might personally think of interoperability, we can probably all agree that we still have a long, long way to go before we get there.

This is why we need events like Partners in Interoperability.  To achieve real progress, we must engage major stakeholders to stop and listen for awhile, and roll up their sleeves to make small incremental steps to move along that spectrum from the cold blue reality of the recent past to a warm, FHIR-y future based on improved interoperability. 

Partners in Interoperability October Meeting

The second Partners in Interoperability meeting was held at the Johns Hopkins Mt. Washington Conference Center in Baltimore on Oct. 18-19, an arcadian space conducive to deep thought.  As before, the meeting included a set of opening talks each day followed by breakouts focusing on the particular challenges of using FHIR among three distinct business communities:  Clinicians, Payers and Biopharma. 

Day 1

The meeting opened with a welcome from Dr. Christopher Chute, a long-time thought leader in the world of health data standards.  Dr. Chute evoked the history of the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904, which even predates the last Chicago Cubs championship, and led to the establishment of national standards for fire hose fittings.  The metaphor of a great fire being a pivotal event that burned down the old to create a new and improved place did not go unnoticed by the 60+ attendees at the event.

Next was a fast-paced set of five short insights on what FHIR means to the three represented communities, the health IT industry, and, above all, to the future of interoperability which we all aspire toward. 

The morning concluded with three lively presentations on FHIR’s promise and reality:

  • Micky Tripathi gave an update on the Argonaut Project, which is close to completing its implementation guides for using the FHIR API and is already thinking about what to tackle next
  • Ricky Bloomfield, MD gave an exciting visual talk on how FHIR is enabling several mobile apps to enhance patient care and interaction at Duke University’s Health System
  • Sean Khozin, MD, presented on how the FDA is reinventing itself to capitalize on real world evidence from EHRs as well as multiomics big data sources – portraying several opportunity areas where FHIR can help advance the FDA’s mission.

Day 2

The second morning included recaps  from each of the breakouts, followed by one more set of plenary presentations:

  • Avinash Shanbhag of ONC discussed the importance of FHIR to realize the goals of the next phase of Meaningful Use
  • Titus Schleyer, PhD, of the Regenstrief Institute painted the vision that health information should flow like water, and demoed a FHIR app that allows patients to collect all their medication data from disparate health IT systems into one unified list
  • The legendary Dr. Clem McDonald discussed and demonstrated an intriguing JSON-based forms generation toolset used by the National Library of Medicine that can be used, for example, with the Surgeon General’s Family Health History form.
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FHIR Applications Roundtable Recap

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 8, 2016 9:30:31 AM / by Wayne Kubick posted in FHIR, HL7 education, interoperability, SMART on FHIR

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HL7 FHIR: A Standard You Can Use Today! 

A Recap of the HL7 FHIR Applications Roundtable

“A standard is not used because we created it. It is a standard because people use it.

This familiar quote from Charles Jaffe, MD, PhD, CEO of HL7, could have been the motto for the inaugural FHIR Applications Roundtable held this July at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

As so many of the smiling attendees attested, this was indeed a very different kind of meeting.
The premise was to show how widespread HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) usage already is, and the answer was – more than we could have ever imagined.

The FHIR is spreading

Although FHIR is currently designated as a Standard for Trial Use (STU), it has already captivated the development community who is drawn to its advanced, elegant technology platform. The roundtable, like most FHIR events, cements the impression that interoperability through FHIR is not a pipe dream, but a burgeoning reality.

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Getting My Feet Wet

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 30, 2016 2:03:46 PM / by Wayne Kubick

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Getting My Feet Wet

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