Launch of the “HL7/IHE Health Story Consolidation Project under the ONC S&I Framework”

If the official title of the Consolidation Project is looongg, that is in part why it is exciting – there are many hands involved here, and we expect to make light work of a number of important tasks. The official project page is here: The Consolidation Project started out within Health Story, which sponsored development of a series of implementation guides for common types of HL7 CDA documents. The full list is here.

These guides address requirements for the most common types of information exchange, original “primary source” documentation of the delivery of care. They represent the original capture of key observations, results, data elements, for a patient’s electronic record. The component parts are described through CDA templates, the reusable building blocks that put the “A” in Clinical Document Architecture, most of them developed initially for the HL7 Continuity of Care Document (CCD).

When the early guides were balloted, the community gave us feedback that since the component templates are reused across the Guides, they would like them published in a single source to ensure consistency and ease of implementation.

Meanwhile, IHE and HITSP were also developing CDA implementation guides, sometimes incorporating the same templates verbatim, sometimes adding constraints and publishing essentially the same template with a new identifier, but no clear path back to the parent. This flowering of CDA template development has shown that the approach is expressive and flexible, however, the lack of overt coordination between HL7, IHE and HITSP also led to some disconnects – unnecessary duplication and, where derivation was explicit, the need to trace the breadcrumbs from HITSP, through IHE, back to an HL7 guide, all to figure out what really goes into a single template.

This project will address these issues as follows:

1. Republish all eight guides plus the related/referenced templates from CCD in a single source (more on the source in a future blog).

2. Update the templates to meet the requirements of Meaningful Use, in other words, augment the base CCD requirements to meet the requirements of HITSP C32/C83.

3. Reconcile discrepancies between overlapping templates published by HL7, IHE and HITSP.

The project will not develop new content. There is a parallel project starting up under ONC to address new content requirements – this is not that project.

We have some great ideas on how the project deliverables will support implementation better than ever, more, to come.

We support this project through our leadership within Health Story and HL7, through our support for IHE and under our sub-contracts to the ONC Standards & Interoperability Framework. Brett Marquard is coordinating the project, Bob and I will be very much involved, and the whole company will be working to make this a big win for ONC and Meaningful Use.