Category Archive News

Winter 2021 Update

The past few months have been a busy period in the world of HL7 Standards Development. HL7 International recently held its May Working Group Meeting  and 27th FHIR Connectathon. These events were attended by a combined total of over 1,000 worldwide participants but, due to COVID-19, the location was, once again, the virtual Whova platform.

Two new versions of the FHIR Standard have gone to ballot – R4B  (a sub-version of R4 containing new content and non-breaking changes) and the first draft of R5. While we expect that R4B will be adopted in New Zealand fairly swiftly, the final version of R5 is unlikely to be published until well into 2022 and its implementation will require broad consensus among the local community.

Further updates on HL7 International activity can be found in the May 2021 Edition of HL7 International News and the HL7 International Annual Report. The later focuses on Re-Envisioning HL7 – an initiative designed to ensure that the organisation remains focused, agile, globally-relevant, community-oriented and sustainable.

Locally, the HL7NZ FHIR® Implementation Work Group continues to work on the Base NZ FHIR Implementation Guide. This Group holds fortnightly, one-hour meetings on Fridays at 12:00pm with the aim of balloting and publishing a first version by the end of Q3 this year. All interested parties are welcome to attend these meetings – further details are available here. With the allocation of funding to the National Health Information Platform (nHIP/HIRA) in the recent budget, this work will produce a valuable resource for that project.

Next Meeting – Friday, August 13th at 12:00pm

This month, we are also planning to resume our series of one-hour lunchtime webinars on topics relating to the implementation of FHIR® with a presentation from Medtech Global on their FHIR Platform ALEX. Further details will be available shortly.

Autumn 2021 Update

25 February 2021 Comments Off on Autumn 2021 Update By admin

The Board of HL7 New Zealand (HL7NZ) recently held its annual face-to-face meeting at the offices of the Clanwilliam Group in Auckland to determine our main areas of focus for the coming year. Agreed-upon goals are to produce a Base FHIR Implementation Guide for New Zealand, further FHIR-related education and grow our community of members and partners.

The HL7NZ FHIR Implementation Work Group held its first meeting of the year on February 19th to re-commence work on the Base Implementation Guide. The Group will now hold fortnightly, one-hour meetings via ZOOM on Fridays at 12:00pm with the aim of balloting and publishing the first version by the end of Q3 this year. All interested parties are welcome to attend these meetings – further details are available here.

Christmas Message from HL7NZ

At the end of what might best be described as a challenging year for everyone, I sense that most of us are now looking forward to the upcoming break with a greater sense of relief than ever! Fortunately, thanks to world-class governance and our advantages of location and size, New Zealand is in a better position than almost any other country to enjoy the holiday season.

For this HL7 Affiliate, the year has concluded on an optimistic and positive note.  Our Membership continues to grow as more and more organisations, in all parts of the Sector, begin to implement HL7® FHIR® R4; following the clear direction provided by the Ministry of Health and initiatives from key members of the application supplier market. Together, we have the basis of a community that can provide a conformant and consistent implementation of FHIR that will facilitate interoperable information exchange as a means of improving healthcare outcomes.

Naturally, we have missed meeting our members in person, but virtual communication platforms have enabled us to maintain regular contacts with the local community. Internationally, this has been far more of a challenge: for more about this, and a longer account of 2020 – as viewed by HL7 New Zealand – I refer you to my recent Chairman’s Report to the HL7 NZ AGM.

Looking forward to the New Year, we are planning to resume our series of monthly, ‘NZ on FHIR Webinars’ in February and are seeking suggestions for topics. In particular, we invite those who are developing FHIR APIs to present their work to our Membership as a whole. We also encourage local implementers to participate in the worldwide FHIR community on Zulip which includes a stream dedicated to New Zealand.

Finally, I would like to extend sincere thanks to all our members and other industry partners for their support and engagement in the past year and I hope that you and your families enjoy a well-earned Christmas and New Year break within the relatively safe confines of beautiful Aotearoa New Zealand.

Peter Jordan, Chairman HL7 New Zealand

HL7 New Zealand – Annual General Meeting 2020 Report

The 2020 Annual General Meeting was held on Thursday 26th November at 3:00pm at the offices of the Clanwilliam Group in Auckland.  Eight members of the previous Board Members were re-elected along with Derek Buchanan, Michael Hosking, Anna-Marie Scroggins (Health Alliance) and Matt Valentine. The outgoing Board Members – who all voluntarily stepped down after huge contributions – were Karen Blake (Health Alliance), Martin Entwistle, David Fallas and David Hay (Chair Emeritus).

The Chairman’s Annual Report, presented to the Meeting, can be found here.

At the first meeting of the new Board, held directly afterwards, the following officers were unanimously elected for two-year terms: Peter Jordan (Chair) and Linda McKay (Secretary). Peter Sergent (Vice Chair) and David Moorhouse (Treasurer) will continue to serve in their current positions having been elected for two-year terms in November 2019.

HL7 New Zealand Signs MoU With HISO

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Health Information Standards Organisation (HISO) and HL7 New Zealand (HL7NZ) was signed on 5th November 2020. The MoU exists to recognise the respective roles of both organisations and the ways in which they can work together to use standards for the good of interoperability in the New Zealand health and disability system, and to play our part in the international standards community.

HL7NZ Webinar – Migrating to FHIR® From Previous Versions of HL7®

Many thanks to those of you who were able to attend the latest in our series of Webinars regarding HL7 FHIR Implementation on October 14th. For those wishing to explore links in the presented material, or who were unable to attend the Webinar Presentation can be viewed here.

We are hoping to host at least one more Webinar in this series this year and would welcome suggestions from Members as to any future topics that they would like us to cover, including presentations of their own HL7 FHIR implementation experience to date. Please forward your thoughts and ideas here.

HL7 New Zealand – Spring 2020 Update:

HL7 International recently held its 34th Annual Plenary and Working Group Meeting  and 25th FHIR Connectathon. These events were attended by a combined total of over 1,000 worldwide participants but, due to travel restrictions, the location was the virtual Whova platform rather than a hotel basement!  Despite the challenges of ‘time-shifting’, significant progress was made towards the next releases of the HL7® FHIR® standard. Look out for some detailed announcements about this in the coming weeks.

The New Zealand standards community received a recent boost with the publication of the HISO Interoperability Roadmap which further cements the role of FHIR® in ‘accelerating the shift to a fully interoperable digital health ecosystem’. In support of this HL7 New Zealand is pleased to continue its series of one-hour lunchtime webinars on topics relating to the implementation of FHIR®.

The next in this series will take place on Wednesday 14th October from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm…

Migrating To FHIR® From Previous Versions of HL7®

This Webinar will be aimed at those seeking to migrate existing implementations, whether based on HL7 version 2 messages or CDA documents. Discussions will also consider whether we should continue to perform any further upgrades within the version 2 ‘product family’ or move directly to FHIR.

We all also consider some of the challenges faced by those already on the road to FHIR API implementation. These include how to use the FHIR collection resources (Bundle, Document, Composition, etc) to satisfy requirements which require a variety of clinical and administrative resources, such as a Patient Summary. Feedback from implementers on their use of FHIR extension will also be canvassed.

This event is being offered, free of charge, to HL7 New Zealand members only. To attend this and future Webinars in the series, we encourage Non-Members to join us by sending an email with your full contact details and we will send you a membership payment invoice. 

Members wishing to attend should register their interest should do so here. Zoom login details will be provided closer to the day.

HL7NZ Webinar – HL7® FHIR® – Foundation Topics for Non-Developers

Many thanks to those of you who attended this Webinar on July 14th. We hope that you found it to be useful; certainly, we have received some positive feedback from participants.  For those wishing to explore links in the presented material, or who were unable to attend the presentation can be viewed here.

This was the first in a series of Webinars that we are planning to present around HL7 FHIR Implementation in New Zealand, so please look out for related emails in the coming weeks. The next session will probably focus on extensions to FHIR for local use; however, we would welcome any suggestions from Members as to any future topics that they would like us to cover and, in general, as to other ways in which the FHIR Community in New Zealand might collaborate.

HL7 New Zealand Executive Board

HL7 New Zealand – Winter 2020 Update

Kia ora koutou,

It’s probably safe to say that some of the least controversial recommendations of the recently published Health & Disability Sector Review relate to the need to accelerate health information interoperability. Many would also agree that the key to achieving this is the conformant and consistent implementation of international standards, so HL7 New Zealand is pleased to announce a series of one-hour lunchtime webinars on topics relating to the implementation of HL7® FHIR®.

The first of these webinars will take place on Tuesday 14th July from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm…

HL7® FHIR® – Foundation Topics for Non-Developers

This will be aimed principally at Business Analysts, Health Informaticians and Solution Architects looking for a basic introduction to this large and complex standard before seeking greater detail in the Specification itself.  The Webinar will consist of high-level overviews of various foundational topics, such as exchanging FHIR Resources via RESTful Web Services, without requiring any knowledge of software development and related tooling. There will be opportunities to raise questions, both during and after the presentations and also to discuss participation in the FHIR Community both in New Zealand and worldwide.

This event is being offered, free of charge, to HL7 New Zealand members only. To attend this and future Webinars in the series, we encourage Non-Members to join us by sending an email with your full contact details and we will send you a membership payment invoice. 

Members wishing to attend should register their interest with HL7 Chair Peter Jordan. Zoom login details will be provided closer to the day.

Ngā mihi

Peter Jordan 

Chairman, HL7 New Zealand

HL7 FHIR International Connectathon #24 Report

A virtual edition of the tri-annual HL7 FHIR International Connectathon was held over a continual two day period, from 20:00 UTC on Wednesday 13th May to 22:00 UTC on Friday 15th May. This was a resounding success with 677 official participants (plus the odd guest) covering 35 tracks. General sessions were held over a GoTo Meeting, each track had its own Zoom Meeting Address and, as ever, the Zoom Chat site was extremely busy throughout.

Obviously, time differences were a challenge for some participants – particularly in the US-centric tracks, and I think that David Hay found this a constraint on the FHIR Shorthand Track. However, I believe that a combination of time-shifting and long hours worked well for most international (i.e. non-USA) attendees. I was a Co-Leader of the Terminology Services Track where Zoom sessions were attended by US, European, Indian and Anzac representatives. Certainly, it was easier to facilitate break-out sessions virtually than competing for booking slots in a restricted number of conference rooms and we had some productive discussions.

Naturally, providing COVID-19 concepts was a major topic for both terminologists and API implementers. The later were able to present the new LOINC Special Use codes and Answers plus Reference Sets from the new SNOMED International Implementation Guide see here. Several SNOMED members have already created national extensions for COVID-19 concepts; the USA ones can be viewed on the COVID-19 Interoperability Alliance Web Site. Hopefully these will be promoted to the next version of the International Edition.

The event was particularly successful from an education viewpoint (along with testing the specification and implementations, one of the 3 main objectives) a report describing the activity from each track could be found here.

The big question is whether this will now be the preferred means of delivering FHIR Connectathons – both internationally and locally (a question I’ve been asked many times)? I did miss the cross-track conversations and in-person networking – but maybe not the 24 journey, jet lag and hotel food! David made a good point that advance preparation is even more crucial to the success virtual events so, when we are all able to travel internationally again, maybe the organisers should have the final say!

Peter Jordan, Chairman, HL7 New Zealand

19th May, 2020