A Vendor Challenge For Electronic Health Record Use Case – Semantic Interoperability Using Universal Data Element Framework (UDEF)

<ed.note>Update: a listserv conversation which may be informative to folks just becoming famliar to the UDEF EHR initiative.</ed.note>

…Approving extensions to the UDEF requires approximately a six week process once we have a set of proposed extensions ready for the review and approval process. The list … represents that proposed list. We are trying to establish a subset of the Electronic Health Record extensions that will allow the vendor community to build products based on those extensions plus the entire approved UDEF that they can demonstrate at a future Open Group Conference. The goal is to allow us to establish a suitable schedule and associated press release announcing the vendor challenge.

To add the content of HL7 or LOINC to the approved list will require participation from experts in the two standards. Participation means mapping those standards (as data element concepts) to the UDEF and submitting the proposed extensions (as required) to the list. Collectively, the members of the UDEF Project are encouraging subject matter experts to take an active role. Up to this point in time, Arnold [ van Overeem of Capgemini ] and I have been creating sample mappings in the medical area to help educate those who have recently joined this list. I may be wrong, but I suspect that it will require many months to map the entire HL7 and LOINC standards to the UDEF.

We (The Open Group UDEF Project) are facing a chicken and egg dilemma. We need the vendor community to build products that will enable organizations such as the medical community to map their standards to the UDEF. At the same time we need participation from major domains such as medical to demonstrate the value that UDEF can bring. The vendor community needs a potential large market such as medical and the associated data integration with Electronic Health Records to help them justify their effort. We are hopeful that a subset of the medical domain vocabulary will be sufficient for the vendor challenge and that it will allow the vendors to demonstrate the UDEF’s value toward the goal of supporting Electronic Health Record integration.

Except for FDA, I didn’t realize we had a US focus. However, if we have, then perhaps it is to help us stay focused on those topics that apply to the Electronic Health Record initiative that is a US initiative. Future extensions can address organizations that are other country counterparts to the FDA.

I hope this answers your questions and hopefully encourages subject matter experts to take an active role in the process.

Ron Schuldt
Chairman The Open Group UDEF Project
ron.l.schuldt at lmco.com

See also:

April 25, 2007 presentation by Ron Schuldt, Chair, The Open Group Universal Data Element Framework (UDEF) Project.