lessons from Intermountain Health, and starting work on openEHR 2.x

Thomas Beale thomas.beale at oceaninformatics.com
Tue Sep 4 21:19:07 EDT 2012

for those interested, I have been spending this month with Dr Stan 
Huff's group at Intermountain Health in Salt lake City. I have at least 
a dozen potential change requests / issues for openEHR. Mostly small, 
but important in their way. That has come from the evidence of their 
systems, and our performing a cross-review during this month. The 
comparison has shown that we (i.e. openEHR and Intermountain) have 
essentially the same multi-level modelling system, with different 
details. Plus I have learned a lot in terms of their design philosophy 
and thinking.

Essentially we can think of these as distilled wisdom/lessons from 
various incarnations of Stan's leading edge 3M/ASN.1 environment over 15 
years, up to the most recent, the Qualibria system using 'CDL' (the ADL 

I'll put these into the openEHR Jira SPEC-PR issue tracker for everyone 
to see over the next couple of weeks, plus on the mailing lists for more 
general things I have learned here.

The new openEHR Spec programme should get up and running in the next few 
weeks, which will mean that people here who want to nominate for working 
on the various specs (i.e. working toward openEHR v2.0) should have a 
think about doing that. The governance details are mostly worked out, so 
it just needs people.

I know some people feel that the specs have not been changing for too 
long (myself included) but on the other hand, they have stood up 
amazingly well over the last few years, and we have a huge amount of 
industry knowledge accumulated, most of which I think is captured on the 
PR issue tracker, and at least on the mailing lists. Also, we have a 
pretty decent ADL/AOM 1.5 spec, which needs community review. AQL has 
also been implemented a number of times and heavily used now, and has 
held up very well. There are things to change there, based on its use in 

So, soon we can start on getting a new version of openEHR... it will be 
a great opportunity I think, to include the clinical and technical 
lessons available to us in the next generation platform. The community 
here is wide-ranging and has a huge amount of knowledge... time to use it!

- thomas

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