Monthly Archive 20 December 2022

Chairman’s Xmas Message 

20 December 2022 Comments Off on Chairman’s Xmas Message  By admin

Kia ora and happy holidays 2022 from HL7 New Zealand

It’s my great pleasure to wish you a happy, peaceful and prosperous end-of-year holiday season.
Christmas is almost here! As your newly elected HL7NZ Board Chair, I’ve been doing more than my usual share of reflecting on the year just wrapping up and the one about to begin. Clearly, we live in fast-moving times for health information standards development and implementation. HL7 FHIR is really taking off as the new lingua franca for sharing clinical, financial, and administrative data around the sector. Its importance has been recognised by many governments including our own, by vendors large and small, and by the thousands of implementers who contribute to the standard’s ongoing development. And FHIR isn’t even done yet! Version 5 is in the balloting process, and it will be a few more years before we see Version 6. All going well, I think we can expect FHIR Version 6 to really be ‘done’.
I got to attend the HL7 International Working Group meeting in Baltimore last September. I saw an organisation revitalised by the return to in-person meetings, the election of a new slate of directors bringing fresh ideas, and the growing importance of FHIR Accelerators, where like-minded stakeholders work together (and provide the necessary funding) to solve real-world problems using FHIR. Importantly for us in NZ, HL7 International has expanded its Board to create new seats for non-US members. This will help ensure that the group’s mission and our needs as Affiliates don’t get lost behind the sheer size of the US contingent.
Here in New Zealand, we’ve been busy building and localising the FHIR artifacts needed to support our local implementers. The second iteration of the NZ FHIR Base Implementation Guide was published in the spring, and the HL7NZ FHIR Working Group is already stuck into the next release. Major FHIR implementations — live and still in the planning stage — in both the public and private sector signal that the disparate pieces of our health data ecosystem are joining up more and more each month.
Much of our momentum comes from our members, spanning public, private, and NGO enterprises. 2022 has seen the publication and updates of FHIR projects from Te Whatu Ora | Health NZ, Te Aho O Te Kahu | Cancer Control Agency, WebTools, MedTech, HealthPoint, Clanwilliam Health, and so many more. In the coming year we’ll be sharing more of these good news stories. After more than a decade of hard work by our past Chairs Peter Jordan and David Hay, it feels like we don’t really have to explain what FHIR is, what HL7 is, any longer. Instead, we get to help connect the dots so that NZ grows and keeps the workforce and the spirit of innovation that will allow continued progress on the difficult problems faced by our health system.
I feel extraordinarily privileged to follow in Peter Jordan’s footsteps as HL7NZ Board Chair. He’s built a smooth-running organisation, recruited a fantastic Board of Directors, and grown membership to its highest ever levels. Thank you for all the mahi you’ve put in! Luckily, he’s stayed on as Secretary so the sage advice he’s given me and so many in the sector will still be just a phone call away. We’ll all miss the cheery presence and seemingly effortless coordination of our past Secretary Linda McKay, who served in that role for 20 years and is moving to the next phase of her career.
On behalf of the entire HL7NZ Board, please again accept our very best wishes for you and your whānau this holiday season. I look forward to working with you in 2023.
John Carter
Chair, HL7NZ