Category Archive News

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

Chair’s updates from HL7 Sydney 2020

Friday 7 February 2020

HL7 New Zealand is recognised as one of Long Time Affiliates.

Wednesday 5 February 2020

HL7 NZ Chair Emeritus, Dr David Hay speaks in the FHIR for Clinicians session.

HL7 NZ Chair Peter Jordan reports to Wednesday’s General Session in his role as an International Council Co-Chair.

Tuesday 4 February 2020

Kiwi delegation enjoying Morning Tea on Tuesday morning…

Meeting attendance figures announced at the Tuesday Morning General Session 

Monday 3 February 2020

Ed Hammond predicts the demise of bricks and mortar healthcare facilities at the International Council meeting.

Sunday 2 February 2020

HL7 Chair Emeritus David Hay ignites HL7 FHIR Connectathon #23.

Chairman’s Christmas Message 2019

At the conclusion of an exhausting year and, almost unbelievably, another decade, it seems fitting to provide a just a few personal highlights and point those interested in a longer account of 2019 – as viewed by HL7 New Zealand – to my recent Chairman’s Report to the HL7 NZ AGM.

  • HL7® FHIR® R4 – THE standard for creating Digital Health APIs, case closed – there is no viable alternative; adoption of international standards is the critical, pre-condition for interoperability.
  • Increased involvement of clinicians and patients in the development and implementation of HL7 standards – essential members of the community-based approach that has replaced the top-down model disrupted by FHIR. 
  • Digital Health Week NZ – fantastic event in NZ’s finest city (slight hint of bias from this Hamiltonian!); now the leading health informatics conference in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • National Health Information Platform (nHIP) – this year’s most promising newcomer; plenty of challenges ahead, but the logical design is an excellent start.
  • NZ ePrescription Service – finally reaching ‘critical mass’ and increasingly used as a major data asset by the Sector; it’s been a long and hard road!
  • HL7NZ Web Site – new platform, branding and regularly-updated content; now positioned to be the hub for the local HL7 standards community.

Hence, in general, it’s been a positive year – the major exception being that the one gift that I requested (back in January) is unlikely to be delivered by Santa. All I really wanted for Christmas was access to my own digital healthcare record via a FHIR API. My carefully, coded primary care record, now sits securely (I trust) on a cloud server…so in 2020, please set my data free or, to quote ePatient. Dave de Bronkart…‘gimme my damn data’.
Finally, on a more festive, note, I’d like to extend sincere thanks to all of our members and benefactors (notably the Digital and Data Services Team at the Ministry of Health) for their support in the past year and I hope that you and your families all enjoy a well-earned Christmas and New Year break. I look forward to continuing to work together as we strive to improve healthcare outcomes via interoperability in the new decade!
Seasons’ Greetings,
Peter Jordan, Chairman HL7 New Zealand

HL7NZ 25th Anniversary Award was presented to Sysmex New Zealand

HL7NZ 25th Anniversary Award was presented to Sysmex New Zealand as part of the Digital Health Week which took place at Claudelands Events Centre in Hamilton 19-22 November.  HL7 standards have been used in New Zealand for 25 years and throughout that period, Sysmex New Zealand has consistently implemented these standards in their products, evangelised HL7 standards in the broader New Zealand digital health community and offered continuous support for the local HL7 Affiliate – known, since 2004, as HL7 New Zealand.

HL7NZ Annual General Meeting 2019 Report

The 2019 Annual General Meeting was held on Wednesday 20th November at 12:30 pm at the Claudelands Event Centre, Hamilton, during Digital Health Week NZ.  Eleven of the previous Board Members were re-elected along with Koray Atalag (The Clinician) who replaces Graeme Hibbert. 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 Sergent (Vice Chairman) and David Moorhouse (Treasurer). Peter Jordan (Chairman) and Linda McKay (Secretary) will continue to serve in their current positions having been elected for two year terms in November 2018.

Microsoft announces Azure API for FHIR® general availability

According to the Microsoft Azure blog article on 21 October 2019, The Azure API for FHIR® is released in general availability to all Azure customers, with which a developer, researcher, device maker, or anyone working with health data is empowered with a turnkey platform to provision a cloud-based FHIR service in just minutes and begin securely managing PHI data in Azure.

HL7 New Zealand Announcements From Atlanta WGM

HL7 New Zealand – Press Release: September 30, 2019

HL7 New Zealand is pleased to announce that one of its founding members, Martin Entwistle, has been elected as a Fellow of HL7® International in recognition of his outstanding commitment and sustained contribution to HL7 International over a fifteen-year period. Martin was inducted into the HL7 Fellows Programme at September’s Working Group Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Also announced at this meeting was the result of recent elections held for the HL7 International Board of Directors and we’re delighted to report that HL7 New Zealand Chair, Peter Jordan was elected to the position of Affiliate Director. Peter will become the first New Zealander to be represented on this Board when he commences a two year term on January 1st, 2020.

Further details of the Working Group Meeting, attended by a record number of 778 participants, can be found on the HL7NZ Web Site.

HL7 New Zealand Spring News 2019

Hi Everyone – in the words of the song “spring is in the air” and this is reflected in a number of exciting new developments in New Zealand’s digital health landscape. In particular, we’ve seen the recentpublication of two documents of major significance for the implementation of our standards; namely the Ministry of Health’s

Digital, data and technology services – minimum requirements and the Interim Report of the New Zealand Health & Disability System Review.  The later, while not containing specific recommendations (these are to appear in a the Final Report tabled for next year), contains strong messages about the need for interoperability standards as a critical enabler of digital health and the former clearly articulates the need for conformance to, and compliance with, those standards.

On a practical level, HL7NZ is fully supportiveof the planned national Health Information Platform(nHIP) as a replacement for the single Electronic Health Record project and we view APIs built using HL7®FHIR® as key building blocks for this Platform. This will enable New Zealand to extend and adapt, significant work already performed overseas and recently, as part of our strong relationship with HISO, we’ve been pleased to recommend the use of the International Patient Summary.

Following our successful Mid-Year Seminar, we’ve also been busy developing a new Web Site and we’re planning to update this with news and events on a regular basis. As you’ll see from the banner, New Zealand is celebrating 25 years of HL7 implementation and  to mark this occasion, HL7 New Zealand will be presenting an Anniversary Award, at the 2019 HiNZ Conference in Hamilton, for “Consistent Support for HL7 Standards in New Zealand”. Candidates for this award are those current Organisational Members of HL7 New Zealand, who have used HL7 standards for a significant portion of the past 25 years. An account of those years can be found here.

Digital Health Week NZ – including HiNZ Conference 2019

We’re keenly anticipating New Zealand’s largest digital health event and this will include a Standards Workshop featuring HL7®FHIR®and SNOMED CT®, on Tuesday 19thNovember. Once again, HiNZ had kindly provided us with a Booth (#93) in the Conference Exhibition Hall and we encourage you all to pay us a visit there. We’ll also be holding our AGM at 12:30pm on Wednesday 20thNovember – all members welcome.

Further details can be found in the Conference Programme.  Registrations can be made here and HL7NZ members are, once again, eligible for the special low “affiliate member” rate.

New Zealand celebrates 25 years as an HL7 Implementer

This year New Zealand is celebrating 25 years of HL7 implementation. To mark this occasion, HL7 New Zealand will be presenting an Anniversary Award, at the 2019 HiNZ Conference in Hamilton, for “Consistent Support for HL7 Standards in New Zealand”. Candidates for this award are those current Organisational Members of HL7 New Zealand, who have used HL7 standards for a significant portion of the past 25 years. An account of those years can now be found in the About—>History Page.