HL7 International 3-Year Plan

Becoming the re-envisioned HL7

Our Foundation

Core Principles and 2022-2024 Strategic Goals

 

Focus

Advance the global adoption of HL7 FHIR, while maintaining other HL7 standards currently in use

Agility

Optimize HL7 processes and make HL7 more approachable and simpler to be engaged in

Global Relevance

Ensure all our products and services have global relevance and reach a global market

Community

Expand HL7 reach beyond our traditional communities to include implementers and consumers

Sustainability

Diversify and expand our funding sources to increase long-term sustainability of the organization

From Principles to Plan

From the Principles and the detailed Re-envisioning Task Force(s) Recommendations, we developed 10 overarching Strategies.

 

S01

Leverage and expand the success of the HL7 FHIR Accelerator program

S02

Increase quality, value, and reach of HL7 education offerings

S03

Create a platform to enable discovery and testing of HL7 specifications

S04

Pursue new communities

S05

Empower patient participation and patient-awareness/friendliness of our standards

S06

Work proactively in global outreach

S07

Develop and execute a contributor engagement program

S08

Extend our portfolio of standards advancement projects through external funding

S09

Migrate legacy web platform to a modern content management system

S10

Continue HL7’s “flywheel” activities that perpetuate our momentum

Ride with us into the future…

Where are we headed? What does this HL7-of-the-future look like?

Well, imagine us together 3 years from now, and we’ll be able to say:

 

We are a vibrant, diverse, global and continuously-welcoming community

We have a place to understand and test every HL7 Implementation Guide

We have a complete portfolio of role-based courses and certification tracks

We have a network of training partners

We have an active portfolio of grant/contract funding complementing other revenues

The robust HL7 FHIR Accelerator program catalyzes standards development and use

10 Strategies for Becoming the Re-envisioned HL7

The techniques to take us into the next epoch.

S01. Leverage and expand the success of the HL7 FHIR Accelerator program

HL7 Standards Implementation Division (Viet Nguyen)

Program Management

Based on the best practices learned through our experience, we will develop a standardized and sustainable Accelerator Blueprint as the model to grow our community and support the adoption of FHIR around the world.

HL7 will offer contract program management services for new and existing accelerators that support the entire lifecycle of a program, including:

Pre-Initiation Phase

  • Identify and engage potential participants
  • Assess feasibility of program

Formation and Initiation Phase

Establish:

  • Membership model
  • Governance structures
  • Operating principles
  • Policies

Operational and Growth Phase

  • Educate stakeholders
  • Support standards development activities and goals
  • Onboarding members
  • Financial planning and oversight
  • Contracting

Sunset Phase

  • Graceful wind-down

Anticipated Outcomes

  1. Establish and apply the Accelerator Blueprint as the model for going from a nascent idea to a thriving group
  2. Increase revenue through the HL7 FHIR Accelerator program by adding new groups and efficiencies to existing ones
  3. Expand the portfolio of Accelerators by proactively pursuing new domains through outreach
  4. Increase HL7 membership by demonstrating its value to HL7 FHIR Accelerator participants who are not yet

S02. Increase quality, value, and reach of HL7 education offerings

HL7 Standards Implementation Division (Diego Kaminker)

Education

We will create new education programs to increase the value (through credentialing), volume (through partnering) and quality (through certifying education providers) of HL7 Education

HL7 will pursue this strategy through 3 complementary educational programs:

HL7 FHIR Credentialing

We are expanding our existing FHIR credentialing program with two new tracks for developers and architects that will help you achieve industry-recognized levels of expertise in the transformative HL7 FHIR standard. Increase your career opportunities and stand out from the crowd by becoming FHIR proficient.

HL7 FHIR Certified Education Provider (CEP) Program

The CEP program recognizes educators who demonstrate excellence as both HL7 FHIR subject matter experts and instructors. The CEP evaluates applicants, trains educators, and supports their need to maintain their expertise. Trainees taking courses from certified educators can be confident that their educators are at the top of their game.

HL7 Partnering Program

Through this new program, HL7 will establish partnerships with organizations that share our passion for creating and delivering FHIR education. Through a global framework for revenue sharing and criteria for achieving partner status, we will diversify, expand, and sustain the availability of high quality FHIR training worldwide.

Anticipated Outcomes

  1. HL7 FHIR Credentialing Program: Increase the value for developers and analysts by improving their employability, and for contracting organizations because they have a recognizable marker by which to evaluate new hires
  2. HL7 FHIR Certified Education Provider (CEP) Program: Increase the value for participants through recognized expertise of their educators
  3. HL7 Partnering Program: Increase the value for the industry by expanding training opportunities, and for the Partners because of HL7 evaluation and further co-branding or recommendations (link from our pages)

S03. Create a platform for discovery and testing of our specifications

HL7 Standards Implementation Division (Diego Kaminker)

The FHIR Foundry

We will create an open ecosystem platform, called the FHIR Foundry, where anyone in the world can discovertesttry, and install for themselves working reference implementations of the HL7 specifications.

Building on the success of FHIR sandbox environments, we will create an integrated environment for the global community.

Reference Implementations

Find, use, and combine reference software implementations for client apps and servers that implement various HL7 FHIR specifications.

Sample Data

Leverage robust sample data to test specifications across their range of functionality, free from the security or privacy concerns of protected health information. 

Test Scenarios

Run and evaluate test scenarios natively in the ecosystem or on other platforms like Inferno or Touchstone.

Anticipated Outcomes

  1. Outreach and Discovery: The FHIR Foundry will be the recognized place where anyone in the world (including those with limited technical skills) can find and try out all of the reference implementations for FHIR specifications.
  2. Continuous Testing: Beyond Connectathons and dedicated events, the FHIR Foundry will enable implementers to tests client applications and servers against reference implementations and test engines with robust sample data at any time.
  3. Increasing Standards Development Rigor: Over time, the expectations of HL7 standards development will mature to include the development of reference implementation software deployed in the FHIR Foundry as part of the Quality Assurance and Publication processes.

S04. Pursue new communities

HL7 Standards Implementation Division (Diego Kaminker)

Outreach

We will proactively reach new communities and leverage opportunities in the industry. Our first focus will be creating events featuring networking opportunities and new content tailored for our growing audience.

We endeavor to reach new communities, foster new uses of our standards, and connect with more people who are implementing our standards but are not involved in standards development activities.

FHIR in the Sky: Cloud Computing

In this new virtual event participants will have an introduction and practical overview of the capabilities of FHIR offerings from major cloud technology vendors. Through hands-on activities with a real life scenario, including common tasks for the implementation of a FHIR-based exchange, participants will experience the power of FHIR as a service.

FHIR - The Future of Interoperability. Now!

In this ten-session webinar series, healthcare executives, clinicians, policy makers, and others will learn how FHIR is transforming the way health data can be shared, understood, and used across different health IT systems. 

FHIR Data Science Institute @ HL7

This 3-day virtual event provides an overview of how to use FHIR to extract and understand data for research and AI processing. Participants will learn the FHIR family standards for a learning healthcare system, including specific tooling for data science and research. Then, in a half-day hackathon, participants will form groups to solve clinical research challenge with ML that involves using Bulk FHIR access to data.

AMIA/HL7 FHIR Applications Competition

The competition highlights the best and most innovative FHIR® client apps. Welcoming entries designed for clinicians, patients, care team members, public health or other users, AMIA and HL7 want to showcase apps that address pressing problems with innovative FHIR-based solutions. If you would like your software to get critical review and exposure, this is the event for you!

Open Data on FHIR

This virtual Open Data Summit brings together the academic, standards, and vendor communities to explore how synthetic and other open data can be used in standards development and testing without the security or privacy concerns of protected health information. Informatics and data science leaders will collaborate and discuss the landscape of synthetic data repositories and tools and how they can be tailored to address the standards development community need for data to advance FHIR education, testing, and adoption.

Cybersecurity for FHIR

This event will focus on best practices for securing FHIR APIs and client applications to prevent unauthorized access and misuse.

Anticipated Outcomes

  1. Outreach: Through these new events we seek to expand interest in HL7’s standards to a broader audience
  2. Implementation: Focusing on key uses, innovations, best practices, and widely available tools, these events help support the implementer community
  3. Standards Advancement: By expanding HL7’s audience we will bring new people and perspectives in the standards development community and help bridge the gap between standards development and implementation

S05. Empower patient participation and patient-friendliness of our standards

HL7 Standards Implementation Division (Diego Kaminker)

Patient Empowerment

We seek to reinforce HL7’s commitment to proactively involve patients and caregivers in the full life cycle of standards development and implementation. HL7’s vision is broad – for everyone to access the health data they need when they need it – and we want to underscore the importance of their participation and perspective throughout the process, including work on use cases that support active creation, access, and use of one’s own data.

We want to broaden patient participation in the HL7 community to help ensure that our standards meet the needs for information use for individuals and sharing among others (with care providers, patient communities, extended care team members, etc).

We welcome participation in the technical work of standards development and implementation. We also recognize the need for educational content that helps patients and services providers understand the benefits of interoperability for their experience in the health system and their quality of life.

Our initial focus will pursue these main activities:

HL7 Patient Pledge

We will collaboratively develop a community statement to serve as our guiding principles for inclusion and respect for patient participation in HL7’s standards development and implementation activities.

Patient-focused Specification Traits

We want to feature the ways in which HL7 specifications benefit patients directly. In the structure of the specification, we will enable a summary of benefits written in lay language, as well as specialized sections to highlight implications for patient access, control, and collaboration.

Expanding Membership and Participation

We will develop new ways to support participation in HL7 activities and events. For example:

  • Sponsored patient participation at HL7 events
  • Allow Provider members to nominate (complementary) patient members
  • And more

Patient Empowerment Event

This new annual special event will highlight how health IT innovations using HL7 standards are advancing patient empowerment.

Anticipated Outcomes

  1. Expanded participation of patients and representation of patient interests in HL7 activities
  2. Enhanced patient-friendliness of HL7 specifications

S06. Work proactively in global outreach

HL7 Standards Implementation Division (Diego Kaminker)

Truly International Reach

We aim to improve the vitality of our affiliate network and expand our partnerships though deliberate outreach, targeted communication, and developing shared services available for use in their local programs.

We will continue to strengthen our relationships with the HL7 Affiliates and Global Goods organizations, enabling better adaption and adoption of programs to improve implementation of HL7 specifications worldwide.

To achieve these aims, we will:

Best Practices Playbooks

We will develop playbooks to help implementers go “from the spec to the wire” as expeditiously as possible, we topics such as:

  • Mapping HL7 V2.x to FHIR
  • Mapping CDA R2 to FHIR
  • Implementing FHIR At Scale for Low or Middle Income Countries

Regional Partnerships

We will create a model for engaging with regional partner organizations in areas like Africa and Central America/Caribbean where HL7 presently lacks Affiliates.

Strengthen Affiliate Relationships

We will continue deliberate efforts to enhance the mutual benefit of HL7 International and its Affiliates through regular communication, improving the usefulness of the Affiliate reports, and working proactively to involve Affiliates in the emerging Standards Implementation Division activities so they can adapt or adopt them.

Grow Relationships with International Organizations

We will continue our work to grow our relationships with international organizations with shared goals, including the World Health Organization (and Pan American Health Organization) and Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise.

Adopt Principles for Global Participation

We will develop and adopt a set of principles to improve global participation.

HL7 Board of Directors

We will seek to implement the inclusion of additional Affiliate representatives to the HL7 Board of Directors, as allowed by our Governance and Operations Manual.

Anticipated Outcomes

  1. Strengthened existing Affiliate relationships and new Affiliates added
  2. Regional partnerships serving as incubators for deepening the knowledge and interest in HL7 standards
  3. Robust collaborations worldwide
  4. New resources for implementation being adopted and adapted by Affiliates

S07. Develop and execute a contributor engagement program

HL7 Standards Development Division (Dan Vreeman)

Contributor Engagement

The individuals of HL7’s global community fuel our collective progress. We must inspire, expand, and engage with an ever-broader set of stakeholders to support development and implementation of HL7 standards.

We want to cultivate a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community where everyone can experience the deep satisfaction of contributing their unique perspective towards the common goal of interoperability. Participants in HL7’s community do so of their own volition, so we must inspire, expand, and engage with an ever- broader set of people.

To foster this kind of community, we will:

Community Development

We will proactively engage in community development through strategies, planning, facilitation, and development of services to HL7 contributors that enhance personal satisfaction and impact.

Continuous Improvement

We will proactively identify, prioritize, and develop mitigation strategies for the key causes of HL7 contributor frustration.

HL7 Informatics Internship

We will grow the HL7 internship program with the vision of building the workforce, increasing awareness and competence in standards, and helping HL7 advance key priorities with focused support.

Intrinsic Motivations

We will cultivate opportunities for HL7 participants to build on their internal motivations to pursue meaningful work. We want to foster an environment where working with others on the complex challenges in interoperability enables you to grow as individuals towards a common purpose.

Anticipated Outcomes

  1. Improvements on community development metrics, such as: perceptions of HL7’s responsiveness, inclusiveness and cohesiveness of the community, perceptions of opportunities for personal growth, evidence of new participation
  2. Increased HL7 membership retention
  3. Post-internship participation and leadership within the community

S08. Extend our portfolio of standards advancement projects through external funding

HL7 Standards Development Division (Dan Vreeman)

Standards Advancement Through External Funding

We will continue delivering on our existing funded portfolio, while cultivating and expanding externally funded activities through grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements.

HL7’s external funding portfolio (e.g. grants, contracts, cooperative agreements) provides substantial opportunities to advance our standards. Such sponsored projects provide support for standards advancement, core infrastructure development, process improvement, pilot testing, and dissemination. We will continue to execute on and extend our externally funded projects as a complement to other revenue sources.

Cooperative Agreement

Closing the Gap between Standards Development and Implementation – Maturing the C-CDA and FHIR Standards

Programmatic Areas

  • Improve infrastructure supporting FHIR development
  • Provide technical and administrative support for publication of FHIR
  • Develop/support testing platform of FHIR compliant systems
  • C-CDA implementation improvement and consistency

Award from Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology: #90AX0019/01-06

Cooperative Agreement

Public Health Emergency Response Related HL7® Standards, Solutions and Future Pandemics

Programmatic Areas

  • Expand clinical domains supported by HL7 standards
  • Improve privacy, security of health information
  • Advance use of HL7 FHIR Bulk Data Access IG standard
  • Develop, advance, and harmonize SDOH standards
  • Advance public health standards

Award from Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology: #90C30007

Contract

COVID-19 support for Accelerating Standards Development for the US Realm

Programmatic Areas

  • Monitor, manage, and track US Realm standards development.
  • Develop and enforce governance policies for US Realm standards development.
  • Facilitate stakeholder outreach to coordinate standards development and implementation activities in the US Realm.
  • Support development, balloting, and publication of the US Core FHIR IG and C-CDA standard.

Award from Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology: #75P00120C00078

Anticipated Outcomes

  1. Continued success in accomplishing HL7 key initiatives with external support
  2. Sustainable financial management of projects funded through external support
  3. Increased collaboration with funding organizations whose objectives align with HL7’s mission

S09. Modernize our web platform

HL7 Standards Development Division (Dan Vreeman)

Modern Web Platform

The current hl7.org web platform and associated applications are cumbersome, difficult to maintain, and fail to convey that HL7 is at the leading edge of health IT innovation. We need to revamp and re-imagine our web platform on a modern, open-source content management system.

As the next major initiative in HL7’s technology roadmap, we will revamp and re-imagine our web platform on WordPress – a modern, open-source content management platform that powers more than 40% of sites across the web.

Our modernization approach will enable several key advances:

 

Open

Building on an open platform founded on software freedom, and supported by a global community of developers.

Content Presentation

Combining simplicity for users and publishers with powerful behind-the-scenes components for developers and limitless options for presenting the content to the world.

Modular and Flexible

Designed to be future-friendly, with separation between core and modular components and a vast ecosystem of plugins for additional features.

Standards-based

Full support for W3C standards that make the site work in today’s browsers and those of tomorrow.

APIs

Backend power through both WordPress APIs for plugins to extend its feature set, and a REST API for interconnecting with our other services.

Optimized

Strong baseline optimization for search engines and a complementary focus on accessibility for humans helps ensure that our material is available to the global community.

Anticipated Outcomes

  1. Better community experience and ease of onboarding from “what’s HL7 about?” to understanding, accessing, and using our standards, and to active contribution in the HL7 community
  2. API-enabled updates to our public standards portfolio that are integrated our internal standards development lifecycle infrastructure (e.g. JIRA) and publication pipeline (e.g. registry.fhir.org)
  3. Improved accessibility, performance, security, findability, and reusability of web content

S10. Continue HL7’s “flywheel” activities that perpetuate our momentum

HL7 Operations Division (Mark McDougall) + Standards Development Division (Dan Vreeman)

Core “Flywheel” Activities

HL7’s core activities serve as the organizational circulatory system that sustains our vital momentum. Although not directly addressed in the recommendations, we include them here with an approach more towards monitoring and optimization than wholesale new strategies.

The momentum that propels us forward is sustained by core activities that have the “Flywheel effect” support, connect, and grow our community. We will continue to monitor and improve these services to help advance our mission.

 

Core Standards Development Services

Infrastructure
  • Collaboration
  • Development and testing
  • Balloting and publishing

Personnel
  • Product leadership and support
  • Support for standards development, balloting, and publishing

Events
  • Working Group Meetings
  • Connectathons
  • Special feature and co-sponsored events

Core Operational Services

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Education
  • Events Management
  • Human Resources
  • IT Operations
  • Legal
  • Marketing and communications
  • Member Services

Anticipated Outcomes

  1. HL7 continues and optimizes its core business process of standards development supported by infrastructure, personnel, and events
  2. HL7 continues and optimizes its core operational services