HL7 New Zealand News

HL7 International Courses to learn FHIR

Congratulations to our Matt de Haan, Senior Developer at HL7NZ Member Webtools, for recently completing the six-week FHIR Intermediate Course. This course is designed for those already familiar with FHIR and want to dive deeper, building their knowledge of what is required to use the standard for real world projects. Matt describes his overall views of the course in a Webtools Blog Entry. We encourage anyone who wishes to learn more about FHIR to consider taking one of the HL7 International Courses. Further details can be found here. HL7 New Zealand Members receive generous discounts on all of these courses.

Winter 2022 Update

Kia ora koutou,

In our last update, we provided a basic outline of the agreed release plan for the next two major versions of HL7 FHIR. We can now announce that a new revision of the current R4 version (R4B) has been published and is now the current version of the Standard available at http://hl7.org/fhir. A full explanation of R4B and the changes from R4 can be viewed here.

We would be delighted to hear from any of the New Zealand Implementer Community who are planning to use R4B, particularly any of the new or changed Resources. HL7 New Zealand will decide on whether to upgrade the Terminz FHIR Server soon. This presently holds most of the local conformance resources and is gaining use as a Test Service for our Members, something we are looking at progressing with our key partners at the  Digital Health Association and their Digital Interoperability Industry Group.

NZ WORK GROUP NEWS:

The HL7NZ FHIR® Implementation Work Group is continuing work on the second version of the Base NZ FHIR Implementation Guide. The current focus is on NZ profiles on data types, such as Address, and key resources such as Patient; however, we are also continuing to encourage requests for extensions that have a national scope. Weekly meetings are at 12:00 pm on Fridays.  All interested parties are welcome to attend these meetings – further details are available on our Web Site

UPCOMING EVENTS:

After nearly 3 years of virtual events, we are delighted that HiNZ is now planning to hold an in-person Digital Health Week NZ 2022 in Rotorua from 5-8 December. This will include our long-awaited joint workshop with HISO – Escape from Burning Platforms with SNOMED on FHIR

In the meantime, we are planning to re-commence our programme of Webinars in which our members showcase their implementations of HL7 FHIR. If you would like to present one of these sessions, please contact us. Later in the year, we are also hoping to provide another joint FHIR Connectathon with HL7 Australia.

Ngā mihi

Executive Board – HL7 New Zealand

April 2022 Update

Kia ora koutou,

In our last update, we invited feedback on HL7 International’s roadmap for FHIR and are now able to provide a basic outline of the agreed release plan:

  • R5 – estimated publication in Q1 2023 – will be a ‘Trial Use’ version with no new normative content
  • R6 – estimated publication in Q1 2026 – will be a major release with additional normative content

This effectively means that all new and changed content in R5 will be potentially subject to change, however all the existing normative content in R4 remains as such. Our expectation is that New Zealand will continue to use R4 for the foreseeable future, but we will provide help to any members wishing to add new elements, to existing resources, by way of extensions.
 
UPCOMING EVENTS:
We are pleased to confirm that this year’s first joint HL7 FHIR Connectathon with HL7 Australia will be a virtual event held on April 27-28, with a particular focus on Terminology Services, including integration with the New Zealand National Terminology Server. Further details and registrations are available here.
 
As those of you who attended last week’s Virtual HiNZ Conference will be aware, HiNZ is now planning to hold an in-person Digital Health Week NZ 2022in Rotorua from 5-8 December. We are hoping that this will include our long-awaited joint workshop with HISO – Escape from Burning Platforms with SNOMED on FHIR. Confirmation and the exact timing of the workshop will be available in due course.
 
In the meantime, we are planning to re-commence our programme of Webinars in which our members showcase their implementations of HL7 FHIR. If you would like to present one of these sessions, please contact us.
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS:
The Board would like to acknowledge last week’s successful re-branding of one of our key partners NZHIT to the Digital Health Association and we encourage you to visit their excellent new Web Site. Their Digital Health Enablers Special Interest Group also has a new title – the Digital Interoperability Industry Group – and HL7NZ continues to play an active part in this in Group.
 
NZ WORK GROUP NEWS:
The HL7NZ FHIR® Implementation Work Group has commenced work on the second version of the Base NZ FHIR Implementation Guide. The current focus is on NZ profiles on data types, such as Address, and key resources such as Patient; however, we are also continuing to encourage requests for extensions that have a national scope. Fortnightly meetings are at 12:00 pm on Fridays.  All interested parties are welcome to attend these meetings – further details are available on our Web Site.
 
Ngā mihi


Executive Board – HL7 New Zealand

Autumn 2022 Update

Kia ora koutou,

As summertime turns slowly into autumn, in the now virtual world of standards development HL7 International is Soliciting Feedback concerning the roadmap for FHIR R5. In addition to the feedback options cited in the FHIR Product Director’s Post, you are welcome to send your views to us. We are particularly interest in hearing from members who have compelling reasons to move to the R4B and R5 versions when they are available.

NZ WORK GROUP NEWS:

The HL7NZ FHIR® Implementation Work Group has commenced work on the second version of the Base NZ FHIR Implementation Guide. The current focus is on NZ profiles on data types, such as Address, and key resources such as Patient; however, we are also continuing to encourage requests for extensions that have a national scope. Fortnightly meetings are at 12:00 pm on Fridays.  All interested parties are welcome to attend these meetings – further details are available on our Web Site

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

The Board would also like to acknowledge the re-branding of one of our key partners New Zealand Health IT to the ‘Digital Health Association’ and wish them all the best for the upcoming launch on March 14th. Their Digital Health Enablers Special Interest Group also has a new title – the Digital Interoperability Industry Group – and HL7NZ continues to play an active part in this in Group.

The transitioning of the Health Sector contains apace and last week our friends in the HISO Office moved to the new Interim Health New Zealand organisation. We wish them well in their new ‘home’.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

A joint decision has been made with our HISO partners to wait until in-person events resume before holding our joint workshop Escape from Burning Platforms with SNOMED on FHIR. This is now likely to take place during Digital Health Week NZ in November at the Claudelands Arena in Hamilton.

In the meantime, we are planning to re-commence our programme of Webinars in which our members showcase their implementations of HL7 FHIR. If you would like to present one of these sessions, please contact us . We are also planning another joint FHIR Connectathon with HL7 Australia, possibly in late April.

Ngā mihi

Executive Board – HL7 New Zealand

Chairman’s Xmas Message

Kia ora koutou,

2021 has proved to be another taxing year for everyone and it’s hard to recall a year when everyone has been looking forward quite so eagerly to the holiday season! However, it’s also been a year of great progress and achievements in digital health with implementers rising to the challenges raised by the ongoing pandemic.
 
In the standards world, we have recently celebrated the 10th year anniversary of HL7® FHIR® and this year has seen another major growth in its use both worldwide and in New Zealand. Certainly the year’s highlight, from an Affiliate viewpoint, has been the support we’ve been able to offer the local community via our New Zealand Base FHIR Implementation Guide and a series of webinars in which our members have demonstrated the use of FHIR in their products and services.
 
Naturally, we have continued to miss meeting our members in person, but virtual communication platforms have enabled us to maintain regular contact and, somewhat ironically, facilitate wider engagement with the worldwide FHIR community – particularly for those not adverse to unsocial hours! I would also like to acknowledge the wonderful level of engagement provided by our partners at HiNZ, NZHIT and The Ministry of Health – barely a week seems to pass without at least one of them providing a ‘must attend’ virtual event.
 
While the course of the pandemic remains uncertain, the year is ending on some optimistic notes, in particularly the funding allocation for Hira, the National Health Information Platform Project. HL7 New Zealand looks forward to supporting this critical ecosystem of data and digital services by adding further FHIR conformance artefacts to our Base Implementation Guide. This work, together with progressing the International Patient Summary, is underpinned by our recently-renewed MOU with HISO
 
On a personal note, the year ended with the closure of Patients First Ltd, my long-term client and a leading implementer and supporter of HL7 standards in national projects. I would like to take this opportunity for thank all involved for their incredible support over the past decade, or so, and wish them well in their new endeavours.
 
Finally, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude 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. See you all in 2022 – hopefully, in person!
 
Ngā mihi o te wā,
 
Peter Jordan, Chairman HL7 New Zealand
December 19, 2021

HL7 NZ 2021 Annual General Meeting – Thursday 18 November at 3pm

The 2021 HL7 New Zealand Annual General Meeting was held on Thursday 18thNovember at 3:00pm virtually via ZOOM.  Ten seats on the Executive Board were up for election and these were filled by eight members of the previous board along with new members Gordon Inkson (MedTech) and Daniel Thomson (Ministry of Health). The outgoing Board Members – who both voluntarily stepped down after huge contributions – were Alastair Kenworthy (Ministry of Health) who served for 10 years on the Board and was the key link in our evolving relationship with the Ministry of Health and HISO; and Derek Buchanan who provided thought leadership, notably with regard to HL7 education and certification both in the local and international communities.

The Chairman’s and Treasurer’s Annual Reports, presented to the Meeting, can be found in the minutes.

At the first meeting of the new Board, held directly afterwards, the following officers were unanimously re-elected for two-year terms up to November 2023: Peter Sergent (Vice Chair) and David Moorhouse (Treasurer).  Peter Jordan (Chair) and Linda McKay (Secretary) will continue in their roles until November 2022, having been elected to serve two year terms in November 2020.

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

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

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.