Fire and air: joint project promises better collaboration

This story first appeared in the August 2014 issue of Pulse+IT Magazine.

While the eHealth sector in Australia is currently consumed with speculation about the next steps for the PCEHR, there is some very exciting work being done on a new, clinically driven collaboration that has flown under the radar. The collaboration between FHIR and openEHR may prove a valuable step for healthcare software vendors and information managers in how healthcare information is represented.

In early July, a group of four informaticians, representing the FHIR (pronounced “fire”) project, openEHR (“open air”) community and the HL7 patient care working group, gathered virtually to develop a common information model for adverse reactions, allergies and intolerances, based on input from a diverse international group of clinicians and other domain experts.

The editorial group includes Heather Leslie, clinical program lead at the openEHR Foundation and modelling lead at Ocean Informatics; Grahame Grieve, primary author of the FHIR specifications and consultant at Health Intersections; Ian McNicoll, board member at the openEHR Foundation and consultant at FreshEHR in the UK; and Russ Leftwich, immunologist and co-chair of the HL7 patient care working group.

This team is using the international openEHR Clinical Knowledge Manager (CKM) as the tool to coordinate the online, crowd-sourced collaboration from international domain experts. The aim is to develop a common model for allergy/intolerance, which is a record of an ongoing propensity to react to a substance.

From this, both openEHR and HL7 will derive openEHR and FHIR-specific archetypes/resources, which will be published on CKM and through the FHIR specification for implementation in both communities.

The plan is that this will forge a meaningful working relationship which will foster a more collaborative approach in the future.

Bridget Kirkham is the CEO of the Medical Software Industry Association (MSIA).

To read the full story, click here for the August 2014 issue of Pulse+IT Magazine.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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