Reflecting on the Infoway Partnership Conference last month, the major themes were collaboration and interoperability. There was also a reminder from a number of speakers to design software or standards in an environment where feedback is actively incorporated and a real-world problem is being solved. It was a great conference for me — I was able to finally meet with many people I've worked with virtually over conference calls. The impromptu conversations also may lead to valuable outcomes. I was impressed by the knowledge and skill of the moderators to prompt discussion and summarize the proceedings.
Furthering cross-country collaboration, Infoway has fulfilled the role of independent facilitator but also the organization has developed processes and tools to push forward interoperability. While some may downplay the importance of tools as per "A Poor Craftsman Blames His Tools," integration work in e-health is definitely buoyed by excellent tools and handicapped by poor ones. Sierra Systems made use of the Infoway Message Builder library to upgrade the HL7v3 interface for the Provider Registry System (PRS), a solution deployed in multiple jurisdictions. This welcomed tool enabled us to more quickly implement a more maintainable, standards-compliant interface that will be easier to extend.
We are currently collaborating with the Canadian health IT community to establish FHIR profiles for the Canadian Provider domain and we are using tools like HAPI FHIR to enable a FHIR interface for the PRS. We look forward to continuing work with the colleagues we met at the Infoway Partnership Conference, as we further the goals of our clients.
Alan Leung, Lead Consultant, Sierra Systems
Alan Leung is a technical lead at Sierra Systems with expertise in health IT messaging technologies and Client and Provider domains. He presented at the 2013 Portland Pacific NW Software Quality Conference on test automation. Keen to improve processes, Alan is ITIL Foundations certified.