Thursday, May 2, 2019

The Graying, Retirements, and Renewal at Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE)

I have been involved with IHE for 20 years. So I likely am one of the 'elders'. I am graying, but not yet close enough to retirement. However this is not the case with many that were here when I first started.

The sad news is that many of the people that started IHE, and were core to the first 20 years have retired, or have been moved to new jobs that keep them from participating in IHE. Amazing resources like Ben, Charles, Elliot, Elliott, Harry, Karen, Ken, George, Gila, Manuel, Mark, Rob, etc...

The good news is that there is room at the table for new people. IHE needs and would welcome participation. You can get involved FREE by just subscribing to the mailing lists, this gives you much of the accessibility, and you CAN make contributions. However you really should JOIN, which is also not that expensive. As a member you have voting rights, can promote profile opportunities of your own, and feel good at being a member.  See the IHE Participation details.

IHE it-self is now 20 years old, so it is now reaching a maturity level that is beyond up-start. This does not mean it is irrelevant nor without improvements. IHE has been moving toward Profiling FHIR, using online publication creation tools, using GitHub, and providing a more mature Connectathon platform. The biggest change that we are attempting this year is to switch away from a annual cycle, to a continuous Profile development cycle. This enables us to work on smaller and larger projects than the annual cycle enables.

IHE is not what it was before, so please engage and help move Healthcare IT standards along. The need for IHE Profiles (aka, Implementation Guides) is critical to success of Interoperability. Standards alone are not sufficient, as they must include support for ALL use-cases. The point of an IHE Profile (Implementation Guide) is to look at a specific (yet reusable) use-case and constrain the underlying standard, fold in vocabulary, set trigger events, and set expected behaviors.

Most important fact about Standards and Profiles --> They enable everyone to set a baseline of known functionality, and build on-top-of-that. Specifically they enable things that can't be done without Interopeability. The Interoperability layer is not a feature, it is an enabling technology.

Please consider engaging with IHE.

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