Health Level Seven (HL7 www.hl7.org) has released for review and balloting the Personal Health Record System Functional Model DSTU R1 here (zip file).
This is part of an out-of-cycle ballot aimed at rapidly moving the FM into the hands of those who wish to implement. It is a tall drink, with robust provisions for security and interoperability. Those who are accustomed to thinking of a PHR as little more than a fill in the blank web form are going to find a substantially different sort of animal described. In particular, the PHRS described are much more akin to health record banks/trusts (www.healthbanking.org) as described by Amnon Shabo, Marion Ball, Johnathan Gold, Bill Yasnoff and others (including yours truly).
An illusion in the minds of many is that Center for Certification of Health Information Technology (CCHIT) certified EHR systems are interoperable. To many, this would be one of the major if not sole reasons for CCHIT to exist. The surprising reality is that this is something that CCHIT certification does not currently include. Another reality is that ‘interoperability’ is a loaded term that is very difficult to define among proprietary EHR’s. This CCHIT announcement is interesting in that CCHIT will “…begin building a testing resource to evaluate compliance of electronic health records (EHR) and networks with certification criteria for interoperability. This new initiative will make it easier for health information technology companies to add standards-based information exchange capabilities to their products and prepare those products for certification. The testing software will be developed under an open source license so that it is free and publicly available, and the Certification Commission will use the software running on a secure platform during its inspection of a product’s compliance…”
Press Release: “The not-for-profit Harris County Health Information Cooperative (HCHIC) is sponsoring an intensive, vendor-neutral Educational Conference: “Introduction to WorldVistA EHR System Administration”. This three day weekend education event December 7th-9th, 2007 will be held in Houston, Texas. This conference will be limited to 20 participants and has a low introductory rate. 10% of the proceeds benefit the not-for-profit WorldVistA organization with the rest of the proceeds benefiting the not-for-profit HCHIC. More information and enrollment information here.