Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Argonaut Project Charter

Yesterday, a group of private sector stakeholders including athenahealth, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Cerner, Epic, Intermountain Health, Mayo Clinic, McKesson, MEDITECH, Partners Healthcare System, SMART at Boston Children’s Hospital Informatics Program, and The Advisory Board Company met with HL7 and FHIR leadership to accelerate query/response interoperability under the auspices of ANSI-certified HL7 standards development organization processes.

All wanted to publicly release the charter we created.  It’s important that this charter is broadly circulated and understood.

As you’ll see from the charter, each of the participants has agreed that all specifications and artifacts developed during the course of the project will be made available to the entire community via an Open Content License.

The scope of the work includes three deliverables:

FHIR Data Query Profiles. A set of FHIR Resources and accompanying profiles that enables query/response of the discrete data elements contained in the Meaningful Use Common Data Set.  The work will be completed for inclusion in the May 2015 HL7 FHIR Draft Standard for Trial Use revision 2 ballot.

FHIR Document Query Profile. A FHIR resource and profile that enables query/response of IHE X* metadata resources, and specifically, transition of care and patient summary CCDAs.  The work will be completed for inclusion in the May 2015 HL7 FHIR Draft Standard for Trial Use revision 2 ballot.

Security Implementation Guide. Based on the SMART OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect profiles, a final guide will be completed the week of Apr 1, 2015.  The Security Implementation Guide will eventually be incorporated in the HL7 balloting process, but for this project will be developed in parallel to accompany the FHIR Data Query and Document Query Profiles and Implementation Guides.

The Argonaut project is time limited and focused on just those three specific deliverables in 2015.  It is not a new organization nor is it competitive with any other effort.

It leverages the existing Data Access Framework efforts from ONC, is compatible with the IHE MHD profile for document exchange, and provides incremental first steps in support of the broader Healthcare Services Platform Consortium initiative.   It is complementary to the CommonWell and the various state/regional HIE initiatives.

Participation in Argonaut includes sponsors, pilot participants, and the community (anyone who wants to stay in touch with the progress of the work).

We’re working on a one page summary which will illustrate the value of the work to patients, providers, and payers as well as innovators who will find it much easier to develop modular applications using FHIR than the current CCDA over Direct approach required in Meaningful Use Stage 2.

Finally, we’ve been very careful to decouple the Argonaut work from Meaningful Use.  Although we believe FHIR should be included in future certification testing, it should not be a regulatory requirement until appropriate pilots, testing, and revision are completed.   We’ll use the six objective maturity and adoptability criteria enumerated by the Standards Committee to evaluate the appropriateness of FHIR for the Meaningful Use program including:

Maturity of Specification
Maturity of Underlying Technology Components
Market Adoption
Ease of Implementation and Deployment
Ease of Operations
Fit for purpose

I believe the combination of FHIR/OAuth/REST will align well with the stated goals/objectives of the Federal Healthcare IT Strategic plan and the upcoming Interoperability Roadmap.    

FHIR will not solve every problem and we need to be careful to under promise, but the notion of a learning healthcare system based on the kind of data liquidity we have in other aspects of our lives (social media, electronic banking, smartphone apps) seems like the right trajectory to me.

No comments: