openEHR Foundation CKM – New Release March 2013

Ian McNicoll Ian.McNicoll at
Thu Mar 7 05:07:54 EST 2013

We are pleased to announce that the openEHR Foundation Clinical
Knowledge Manager is now back on-line after a major upgrade and move
to a new server.

Governance Environment

This release adds a number of significant new features, primarily
around governance arrangements


The most significant new feature is ‘Projects’. A Project groups a set
of archetypes, templates, termsets together with a project team
members, building on the idea of Teams in the previous CKM release,
and is the first step in developing a sound approach to the
distributed governance of these assets.

Projects are now the key governance unit in CKM. All archetypes,
templates and termsets must be owned by a specific Project, and
Projects can include archetypes, templates and termsets owned by other
Projects as read-only ‘references’. This allows a Project member to
see all the relevant assets, including those not directly owned by the

The ‘Ophthalmology’ Project is an example of a typical Project which
owns a number of archetypes primarily associated with ophthalmology
e.g. Visual Acuity, Pupil examination. It also includes, as a
‘reference’ the Physical Examination Findings archetype, which is
owned by the ‘Common resources’ project. Each Project has its own home
page -

The Ophthalmology Project Editors have the right to make changes to
their ‘owned’ assets but not to their ‘referenced’ assets. Any change
requests for a referenced asset must be routed through the Project
which owns the archetype.

More details on Projects -


For some time we have recognised that the formal governance
arrangements imposed by CKM can be inappropriate for the very early
stages of archetype development, and that it would be helpful to have
a more lightly governed collaborative area where initial ideas could
be worked up, and attract wider grassroots participation.

Incubators fulfil this role, and in most respects are functionally
similar to Projects but within a non-governed space. They allow
discussion, background resource documentation and the ability to
include relevant archetypes, referenced from other Incubators or
Projects. Incubators do not have the ability to run formal Reviews or
take an archetype through a formal publication process. It is possible
to ‘upgrade’ either an Incubator asset to a Project asset or a full
Incubator to a full Project, should the archetypes become mature
enough to merit formal review and publication.

The Cataract Surgery models’ Incubator is an example of a typical
Incubator which contains a number of early attempts at modelling
detailed eye examination  for the purpose of cataract surgery
assessment, along with some referenced archetypes such as ‘Visual
acuity’ which are undergoing formal review as part of the
Ophthalmology project[SG1] [IM2] . This Incubator is bringing together
a number of models together which are attempting to model a similar
concept but approaching it from a different point of view. The intent
is to get the various authors to collaborate on a commonly agreed
approach and resulting model.

Each Incubator has its own home page:

More details on Incubators -


Sub-domains are also additional components within the new governance
environment and act as simple folders to allow archetypes to be
grouped at high-level. The openEHR Foundation CKM has not activated
subdomains at this point, until the exact requirement for these in an
international space is determined.

Further information on the new CKM Governance environment is at

Left -Hand Tree View and Search Functionality

The left-hand tree view has been changed to allow views of Projects
and Incubators and also to allow a user to select a Preferred View via
the ‘All Resources’ panel.

More details on Search Functionality

Other Changes in this Release

Full details of other changes and bug-fixes in this Release are
available at

Next Steps

In the longer-term we hope to open up the Incubator resource to wider
groups who wish to facilitate early collaboration, leading to
publication of archetypes, but we intend to start slowly so that we
can better understand the best way to use this facility, and define
the rules of engagement for Incubator developments.

If you have any questions or ideas on the use of Incubator, please
contact the current Clinical Knowledge Administrators

ian.mcnicoll at
heather.leslie at

Heather Leslie

Sebastian Garde

Ian McNicoll

openEHR Foundation CKM Team

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