Thursday, April 13, 2006

Problems in UK Health IT Implementation Efforts

provides an interesting perspective on difficulties currently being faced by the National Programme for IT in the UK National Health Service, which has invested huge resources in the creation of a new national health IT system based on HL7 V3 messaging before the V3 standard itself has been properly tested (or indeed properly implemented).

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

HL7 V3: In search of implementations

Oracle, familiarly, has embraced HL7 V3 as the central part of its Healthcare Transaction Base (HTB). Oracle itself refers to three implementations of HTB described as being 'live for EHR projects':

1) Byrraju Foundation (BSRF) in India (Live)
2) Stockholm County (planned to go live by May 2006)
3) Louisiana (planned to go live by May 2006)

Regarding the Byrraju case, I am told that there is no V3 application running in India today and that the Byrraju Foundation is presently not using any telemedicine application that utilizes HL7.

As to the Stockholm case, the HTB was purchased and deployed in late 2004. An attempt to port a pilot system was made during the spring of 2005. This attept was abandoned, as I understand from my Swedish colleagues, partly because of poor performance (the new application performed significantly less well than the system it was designed to replace, even though it was being run on considerably more expensive hardware), and partly because of a lack of fault tolerance, which made it inadequate as a mechanism for integrating legacy systems marked by a high degree of variation in data quality. During the spring of 2006, it seems, an attempt will be made to construct a new pilot application, this time with the more modest goal of handling referrals.

I have not, as yet, been able to find information concerning the Louisiana case.