Today the PCC domain is in a place of discovering where it is we are going next. We have published a few dozen profiles over the past several years, many of which are content focused, but some of which also cover integration and workflow. As the HIT interoperability landscape evolves PCC must continually assess the work it is producing for validity in the marketplace. Specifically with the advent of HL7’s Consolidated CDA implementation guide we now have duplicate templates and a split in the market. PCC has many international stakeholders that continue to reference our templates, however most US based systems are focused first on C-CDA as it is core to the interoperability components of Meaningful Use Stage 2 compliance.
So how are we figuring this out? We are talking amongst ourselves first and foremost to better understand what our vision and mission is, what our core values are so we stay true to our purpose and role within IHE and the industry. Secondly we are talking with external organizations to ensure we align and/or harmonize our work efforts as appropriate, lest we find ourselves suffering from the Ostrich Effect.
To provide a little background (and expand on my previous post) we have created and published a total of 23 content profiles, 7 integration profiles, and 5 workflow profiles since 2005. This year we are publishing two profiles, one of which is new, the other is a re-write/update, and also a white paper. Our profiles are Multiple Content Views (MCV) and Reconciliation of Clinical Content and Care Providers (RECON). Our white paper is A Data Access Framework using IHE Profiles (DAF).
MCV provides guidance on how text in CDA documents may be tagged to achieve different rendering behaviors. For example, a patient does not necessarily need or want to see all of the details of their lab results, they may just want to simply know if the results are “good” or “bad.” MCV provides a mechanism upon which data can be presented to meet this requirement. However, in no way does MCV change, remove or exclude data from the CDA document itself – it is still intact, in the narrative text and/or in the structured entries. MCV is really focused only on rendering of the data, and the narrative text in CDA documents is what is primarily leveraged to achieve this end.
RECON was originally published in 2011, focusing on problems, medications, and allergies sections. Upon further assessment last year it was determined that we needed to make two adjustments to the existing RECON profile : provide an easier implementation path and expand to include additional sections of data. RECON is important to patient safety to ensure that the right data is available to the right person at the right time. Without reconciliation in any given clinical workflow pertinant data may exist across multiple documents or locations in the system and the care provider may not have time to find that data, and assemble in a way that is meaningful for appropriate care of the patient. For more detail see the use cases outlined in the RECON profile. This is especially true in an emergency situation where time is of the utmost importance.
The DAF white paper describes a framework by which IHE profiles can support multiple means of access through substitutable modules (IHE profiles). This work effort was brought to IHE via the US ONC, and is not so much an attempt to map out implementation guidance, but to explore how various IHE profiles could be implemented to create successful interoperability scenarios, based on various use cases and business requirements. This effort utilized a few different enterprise architecture frameworks to assist including:
- Reference Model of Open Distributed Processing (RM-ODP)
- Zachman Framework
- HL7 Standards Aware Interoperability Framework (SAIF)
We covered these new profiles, as well as other PCC topics on our annual domain update webinar this week. This webinar was recorded and will be available online soon at http://ihe.net/webinars/.
If you look at our work this year as well as last year you will see a pattern emerging that our focus is shifting away from straight templating of content, and more toward how that content is used in various systems and situations. I see this as a natural next step in the evolution of content-based standards. However our templates are still quite important to many non-US based stakeholders, and so IHE and HL7 are working together at the executive leadership level to resolve the issues around duplication of templates that exist today. My sincerest hope is that IHE PCC is able to remain in the content template guidance space as it is vitally important to working through content requirements for a number of international stakeholders.