Category Archive News

HL7® FHIR® NZ Base Implementation Guide Published

We have just published the first version of the HL7 FHIR NZ Base Implementation Guide. This is the result of many months of diligent work by our HL7NZ FHIR® Implementation Work Group, with broad sector representation, and passed the required Membership Ballot, held last month, with flying colours. This Guide contains the base FHIR implementation rules for New Zealand (exclusively extensions, identifiers, and terminologies in this version). It is an ‘abstract’ artefact from which all other FHIR Implementation Guides in New Zealand may be derived, and we hope that it will be a valuable resource for the local FHIR community.
 
As it is a ‘living’ artefact, work on the next version will commence later this month, and the Work Group will continue to hold regular, one-hour meetings on Fridays at 12:00pm. All interested parties are welcome to attend these meetings – further details are available on our Web Site.

October 2021 News

We are delighted to announce that an updated Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Health Information Standards Organisation (HISO) was signed on 1st October 2021. 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,
 
Congratulations to HL7 New Zealand Chair Peter Jordan for being re-elected as an Affiliate Director on the HL7 International Board for a further two-year term. Peter has also been elected, as an Affiliate Representative, to the recently formed HL7 International Terminology Services Management Group.

HL7® FHIR® NZ Base Implementation Guide – Ballot Invitation

12 September 2021 Comments Off on HL7® FHIR® NZ Base Implementation Guide – Ballot Invitation By admin

The  HL7 New Zealand FHIR Implementation Work Group invites you to participate in a ballot on the first version of the HL7® FHIR® New Zealand Base Implementation Guide. This FHIR R4 Resource contains the base FHIR implementation rules (notably extensions, identifiers, and terminologies) for New Zealand. It is an ‘abstract’ artefact from which other FHIR Implementation Guides in this territory may be derived. It is intended to be a ‘living’ artefact that will be enhanced and maintained, based on feedback and usage experience from the FHIR Implementation Community mainly, but not restricted, to within New Zealand.

What is an HL7 Ballot?

Balloting is the mechanism used by HL7 to allow the wider community to make comments on HL7 Standards and Implementation Guides, and for those comments to be reviewed by the authors, making updates as required. It is a mechanism to ensure fitness for purpose and broad consensus, via the following process…

  • There is a specific period during which comments are solicited (the ‘Ballot Period’) which is from Monday 13thSeptember 2021 to Thursday 30th September for this ballot.
  • A copy of the balloted artefact is made that will remain unchanged over the Ballot Period. This is the copy against which participants make comments.
  • Anyone participant can make a Ballot Comment, simply by adding a GitHub Issue (instructions below) to the repository where the Implementation Guide is stored.
  • All comments are reviewed by the Authors in an open Work Group meeting. Each comment will have an outcome (a ‘Disposition’) which may or may not result in changes to the Implementation Guide, after which the issue is closed. The outcome is recorded as a comment against the issue, including any rationale for the outcome, which anyone can view.
  • Anyone can attend the review meetings (and are encouraged to do so), but only current HL7 New Zealand (HL7NZ) members can vote on the Disposition.

Where is the Implementation Guide?

The Ballot Version of the Implementation Guide (‘NZ-Base’) is located here.  In this first version, NZ-Base is a primarily a collection of extensions, so click the ‘extensions’ tab to view a list of these extensions. Clicking on the extension name in the first column will load the detailed description of the extension definition. This is generated by the standard HL7 FHIR build process and has the same format as the core FHIR specification.

How to make Ballot Comments

Comments (Issues) are recorded against the source of the Implementation Guide, which is a GitHub Repository located hereIssues are on the Second Tab of the Repository.

  • Firstly, you will require a GitHub Account. If you don’t already have one, then go to GitHub, and click the ‘Sign up’ link to the upper right and follow the instructions from there.
  • Next, browse to the Issues Page of the HL7NZ Base Repository 
  • To the right (above the current list of issues) is a green button labelled ‘New Issue’. Click that, and the new issue dialog will appear. 
  • Each issue has a title and a description…
  • Enter a meaningful title for the issue. For example, “The description of ‘date of death’ is unclear, or ‘there is a typo in the description of ‘additional authorisation’.
  • In the description field enter the remaining details. Please include the URL of the extension definition page that you are commenting on. The contents will depend on the nature of the comment – if you are commenting on text, include the suggested text and where it applies.
  • There are also labels you can apply if you so wish, but these are not mandatory.
  • You can also elect to set up a Notification, so you are alerted to any activity on your issue. Details here
  • Examples of comments…
  • Suggested text to make the meaning of an Extension Definition clearer
  • A comment about the contents of an extension – for example additional elements that may be useful
  • A comment about the datatype of an extension – is there a better one that should be used?
  • A comment about the terminology used to define the contents of a coded element.
  • Push back against the extension itself – should it even be included? Is there an existing one that could be used instead, or is there already a core element on the resource?

Please note that comments can only be made against the current contents of the Implementation Guide. Suggestions for additional content, such as extensions or profiles, should be sent directly to the Work Group itself admin@hl7.org.nz.

What happens to Ballot Comments after Submission?

Anyone can make a comment against your Issue (that’s why notifications may be helpful) but only the HL7NZ Work Group can determine what happens to it (the ‘Disposition’ of the Comment). This Group meets weekly (Friday at 12 noon via ZOOM) and will consider open comments. Anyone is welcome to attend and participate in the discussion, but only HL7NZ members can vote on the Disposition. Send an Email  if you require our contact details. We can’t guarantee to discuss any specific issue on a particular date as this will depend on the number and complexity of comments.

This is an open, community-based, review, process with complete transparency of the deliberations and the outcome. Anyone can create issues or make comments against existing ones. However, only HL7 NZ members can participate in the Disposition Vote and once made, that decision is final.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact us here.

HL7 New Zealand FHIR Implementation Work Group

Spring 2021 Update

12 September 2021 Comments Off on Spring 2021 Update By admin

Firstly, we hope that this message finds you all well and looking forward to longer days, warmer weather and (hopefully) the end of lockdowns before too long. Although this year has developed into another challenging one for everyone, the Global Pandemic has certainly highlighted the need for international health information standards and, going forward, these will also be essential as the world adapts to a changed environment.
 
In particular, two HL7® FHIR® Implementation Guides – International Patient Summary and SMART Health Cards – are likely to play a key role in both cross-border and local use cases where patients’ essential clinical details need to be exchanged and presented in a conformant and consistent way.  The continued development of HL7 International standards also continues this month with the September Working Group Meeting  and 28th FHIR Connectathon. Both of these virtual events are available to everyone and HL7NZ members receive discounted rates.

NZ WORK GROUP NEWS:

Since our last update, the HL7NZ FHIR® Implementation Work Group has made excellent progress on the first version of the Base NZ FHIR Implementation Guide and this will be subject to a Membership Ballot this month, prior to official publication. Full details of this process will be distributed shortly. As this is a ‘living’ artefact, work on the next version will continue directly afterwards, so we will continue to hold regular, one-hour meetings on Fridays at 12:00pm. All interested parties are welcome to attend these meetings – further details are available on our Web Site.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Congratulations to HL7 Board Members, Matt Valentine and Peter Jordan for their election as Fellows of Health Informatics NZ FHINZ.
 
The Board would also like to acknowledge the recent appointment of Ryl Jensenas CEO of New Zealand Health IT and election of Isobel Frean to the Chair of HL7 Australia. We look forward to continuing our key partnerships with both organisations.

Winter 2021 Update

9 June 2021 Comments Off on Winter 2021 Update By admin

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.

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.