Long time, no blog.
Since my last post, we've been hard at work, writing code, planning the future components we will write, writing documentation, and planning to take this out to the real world. We've also been trying to do a much better job of communication what this is all about.
In our face to face meeting yesterday, we started things off with a bang, with parallel code-a-thon, document-a-thon, and plan-a-thons.
On the coding side, we have had some truly heroic work from Umesh Madan and Greg Meyer, and we have lately gotten a robust set of additional volunteers to chip in. We are writing both a Java and C# implementation (because the health IT world is pretty evenly split between those two language stacks), and yesterday we were able to get the teams together to plan out the various components we are writing, and orient everyone to what is already out there.
You can see the energy the team created in the source code changes over the past couple of days.
The implementation planning teams identified some cross team dependencies, particularly on the reference implementation (we need to do a better job getting visible milestones and plans in place so that organizations can schedule when we are bringing this out to the real world), and on documentation and communication (we need to have great materials to bring to the providers and other stakeholders).
The documentation team got to near final on the all important overview document, and established the process to bring the rest of the documents to completion, and the communication group worked out the key priorities for messaging and communication.
We had a great session on policy with Deven McGraw of the Center for Democracy and Trust; Joy Pritts, Chief Privacy Officer at the ONC; and David McCallie of the HIT Standards Committee, who are all on the HIT Policy Committee's Privacy and Security Tiger Team. Deven provided an excellent summary of the Tiger Team recommendation letter that will be presented to the HITPC tomorrow. We all greatly appreciate the work of the Tiger Team, and were pleased to see clear recognition of the specific set of policy issues relevant to directed exchange.
We also had a very informative session on Direct and State HIOs and Regional HIOs that work with the states, with Gary Christensen of RIQI (the only threefer in the country, as a state designated entity for HIE, a REC, and a Beacon community), Will Ross of Redwood Mednet, and Tim Andrews of High Pine Associates, and the leadership of the ONC state HIE team. The main theme of the session is that many organizations are participating in Direct to improve the ability to get information out of EHRs and related systems, and to simplify the approach to assist providers in achieving Stage 1 Meaningful Use, and the associated quality, access and cost goals. A number of the participants commented that directed exchange meets a different set of business needs and has a different set of policy implications than does assembly of a longitudinal health record for clinical quality, and that both are important aspects of a state HIE strategy.
All of the participants left the meeting with a good deal of energy and enthusiasm (indeed, a number decamped to the Holiday Inn Capitol to continue coding in the restaurant there). I would like to thank everyone for their participation, and am greatly looking forward for the next few months, as we make this real!