Category Archive News

“The Standard” (HL7 International’s Official Blog)

HL7 FHIR Foundation Collaborates with Google Cloud Platform to Support FHIR Community

Google Cloud Platform to Work with HL7 FHIR Foundation by Providing the Underlying Cloud Technology for the HL7 FHIR Developer Community Read more » Interview with Grahame Grieve

Festive Seasons Greetings from HL7NZ Chairman – Peter Jordan

    As many end of year summaries will note, 2016 has been a transformational year, both in the Health and Disability Sector as well as the world at large. Within HL7 New Zealand itself, we have followed what appears to have been a broader trend in making a leadership change after an eight year tenure.

Hence it’s my first task, as the incoming Chairman, to thank David Hay for his magnificent leadership of our Affiliate in that period. In particular, David has been at the forefront in the development of the new HL7® FHIR® standard giving New Zealand a seat at the top table of an international project with, to date, over one thousand active participants! However, we’ve not allowed David to retire to his beach hut or the after-dinner speaking circuit: instead he has been awarded the honorary title of Chair Emeritus and will remain on our Board as the strategic lead for FHIR.

Another worldwide trend that’s been mirrored locally has been a shift of emphasis from eHealth and Healthcare IT to Digital Health, with major organisational and personnel changes within the Ministry of Health underpinning the new Digital Health Work Programme 2020. A key component of this strategy will be the adoption of international standards, notably for building APIs to facilitate the interoperability between systems that will provide the right information at the right time to the right people – be they the deliverers or consumers of healthcare services.

FHIR offers a unique platform for building such APIs and has already been implemented, in varying degrees, by nearly all of the 50 odd countries with HL7 membership. Healthcare is increasingly seen as a round-the-clock, global service and only standards that work across jurisdictions will meet this requirement. Another international standard SNOMED CT was a major focus in the NZ sector this year with the highly-successful Expo hosted in Wellington in late October, and I’d like to mention the key role played by our Board Member Alastair Kenworthy in this event.

At the Expo, HL7 New Zealand was privileged to host a booth, jointly with HL7 Australia. This formed part of a strategy to work more closely with our trans-Tasman neighbours, but even more significantly served as an indication of the increasingly close relationship between the FHIR and SNOMED CT standards and their respective governing bodies.

This event, and the following week at the HINZ Conference left many of us with a very positive feeling that our sector is on the verge of a major breakthrough in terms of aligning the requisite elements for the collaborative effort needed to drive the exponential change requirements of Digital Health. One concrete manifestation of this spirit of cooperation will be the publication of NZHiT’s Interoperability Charter, later this month.

Those of us fortunate to have seen the Keynote Presentation by international expert Dr John Halamka in Wellington will have noted his declaration that NZ can be world leaders in digital health. Given that Dr Halamka has also recently described FHIR as the ‘HTML of healthcare’, everything points to 2017 being a pivotal year. Consequently, we at HL7 New Zealand are proposing to increase our engagement with the sector by working closely with those building FHIR-based APIs – so look out for news of upcoming workshops and seminars early in the New Year.

Before then, I hope that you all enjoy a well-earned Christmas and New Year break and return to work re-charged and ready to interoperate.

Best regards,Peter Jordan, Chairman HL7 New Zealand

2016 AGM

This years’ Annual General Meeting was held at Sky City Convention Centre, Monday 31 October at 4.30pm.Officer bearers appointed as of Monday 7th November include:Peter Jordan (Chairman), Peter Sergent (Vice Chairman), Edwin Ng (Treasurer), Linda McKay (Secretary).  A newly created honour goes to outgoing Chairman David Hay (Chairman Emeritus) – David has Chaired the HL7NZ Board for the past eight years.

David Hay, HL7NZ Chairman Awarded this week

The winners of the Excellence in IT Awards 2016 were handed out in front of nearly 700 people at a gala event in Wellington on 12 July 2016. The eight Awards celebrate the individuals and teams that make up the industry and are a collaboration of 11 of New Zealand’s leading tech associations, to create a sector-wide awards programme. Partners include the Institute of IT Professionals, CITRENZ, TUANZ, Health Informatics NZ, itSMF NZ, NZ Software Association, GOVIS, Project Management Institute, InternetNZ, NZRise and the NZ Open Source Society.

The Excellence in Health Informatics was awarded to our own Chairman

Dr David Hay – for demonstrating a breadth of understanding of the Heath sector and has dedicated his entire career to bridging the role of clinician (he is a GP by training) with technology, with stunning results.  Congratulations David.

HL7 Australia 2016 Plenary Working Group Meeting

6 JULY 2016 – 8 JULY 2016 Rydges Sydney Central, 28 Albion Street, Sydney NSW

Be part of history with the first 3 day HL7 Australia Working Group Meeting in Sydney 6, 7 & 8 July 2016, at Rydges Central.  Attendees can get excellent room rates at the hotel – just mention you are attending the HL7 Australia Working Group Meeting!
Set to be a key event in the Australia Health Informatics community, the WGM brings together clinicians, software vendors, medical organisations and key government decision makers.  The three day event provides opportunity to collaborate on draft e-health standards, network and share ideas with others within the community and attend a range of educational sessions. 
(For more details

DICOM Workshop in Sydney on 11-12 August 2016

For HL7 NZ Members interested in DICOM, a DICOM trainer Marco Kemper is offering a 2-day Workshop in Sydney on 11-12 August 2016 with CPD credits allocated by New Zealand Institute of Medical Radiation Technology. The registration period is until 10 June 2016.

For more details, please visit Marco’s website:

Clinical Genomics on FHIR – Innovative Healthcare

From an Akana Blog article by Laura Heritage on 10 February 2016:
“Gil Alterovitz from Harvard Medical School and the SMART on FHIR Genomics team have created a set of genetic specific profiles on top of the FHIR resources; Observation, Diagnostic Report, Diagnostic Order, FamilyMemberHistory, and Sequence. This allows applications that understand FHIR and the Genetics profiles, like the SMART Genomics apps to simply point to any FHIR servers that also implement the FHIR Genetics profiles to query and retrieve the data they need to embed it in EMRs and other applications.  Below is an illustration of how these FHIR resources are related when used in conjunction with the Genetic Profiles.”

Festive Season’s Greetings from the Chairman

As the year draws to an end it is customary to reflect back on what was achieved during the year, and what the New Year may bring. From the perspective of healthcare standards (particularly HL7) this has been a great year! Internationally we have seen the new interoperability standard – FHIR – going from strength to strength with pretty much every country on the planet doing something with it, from real production deployments to pilots. We’ve also seen increasing co-operation between HL7 and other Standards Development Organizations such as IHTSDO (SNOMED), openEHR and CIMI in our objective to improve the delivery of care to the patient.

Locally, we’ve held a couple of well attended seminars – including one that was aimed at clinicians rather than implementers as we grappled with how to represent Adverse Drug Reactions in FHIR. I’m personally keen to get Clinicians and Business Analysts – and the educated Consumer – more involved. FHIR makes it easier than it has ever been to involve ‘non technical’ people in this important work, and it certainly helps that HISO and the National IT Board endorsed FHIR as an endorsed interoperability standard for new Zealand.

But it’s looking forward to next year that is the most exciting, as we seem to have a real convergence from different parts of the sector on interoperability. A perfect storm of activity.

From the national IT Board we had the announcement at HINZ of the ‘National EHR’ – a ‘longitudinal health record’ holding common data about people and supporting common functionality that is critical for the safe and effective delivery of healthcare. This will provide FHIR based API’s that application vendors can use for innovative applications using a common set of patient data and easy to use APIs. HISO is fully engaged in this process – expect to see some announcement of workshops and events soon! (and a very aggressive timeline…)

And from the vendor community we had the announcement that some of the larger and more forward looking vendors in New Zealand are intending to collaborate to deliver ‘precision medicine’ – an underpinning of which is the collection of structured, coded data that can serve as the basis of the analytics required to support this. It is hoped – and intended – that all vendors in New Zealand become engaged in this. Our very own ‘project Argonaut’.So enjoy the Christmas break, have a happy New Year and get ready for the adventure!
Dr David HayHL7NZ Chairman

2016 Board Elected

Congratulating the following Office Bearers and Board members – read more

  • David Hay (Chairman)
  • Peter Jordan (Vice Chairman)
  • Peter Sergent (Treasurer)
  • Jane Farris (Secretary)
  • Dave Fallas
  • Edwin Ng
  • Ray Murakami
  • Martin Entwistle
  • Chris Peck
  • Koray Atalag
  • Alastair Kenworthy

HL7NZ Annual General Meeting 2015

Was held on Friday 20th November 2015.  Minutes as attachment below.  We welcome the incoming Board and Office Bearers for 2016.