Understand the problem

Before you can fix a problem you have to understand the problem.

Seems pretty obvious right?

Trouble is that in software human nature is often to try and fix problems without really understanding the problem. That leads to complex solutions which are worse than the original problem.

a.k.a. the Reference Information Model (RIM).

The issue is that the nature of the problems in software can be quite subtle and often require core conceptual thinking that most people are in too much of rush to do.

To have a good dialog about the issues of HL7 2.x and how those problems can be fixed there are some concepts that have to be understood. These are the concepts:

  1. How the level 7 idea of the OSI distorts HL7 in a bad way
  2. Orthogonality
  3. Loose coupling
  4. Query vs. broadcast
  5. How to make software generate good error messages
  6. Role based authentication

Depending on your background some of the concepts may be new. Some you might already know, but with different names. But to explain what I think needs to be achieved to get interoperability working better in healthcare I need to get everyone on the same page with the same language to understand the issues with HL7 2.x.

Eliot Muir – CEO of iNTERFACEWARE

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