New Directions Process

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In 2006 several profiles developed by the ITI committee missed the deadline for official Connectathon testing. Since work on these profiles was of great interest and time critical for a community of interest they went forward within the "New Directions" section of the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase, a new area which has proved very valuable. The RFD (Request Form for Display) and PIX/PDQ V3 (HL7 V3 version of PIX/PDQ profile) profiles will be demonstrated as part of the New Directions section at the 2007 HIMSS Interoperability Showcase. For both of these initiatives a project manager was supplied by the community of interest (versus the normal process in which IHE supplies the project manager) and informal testing was supported during Connectathon by the project manager. The project manager also organized and managed the demonstration of that profile within the New Directions section of the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase.

This process has proven very useful in cases where a profile is time critical but there may be a problem with perhaps the underlying standards, resource availability within IHE or a lack of real world experience with the standards being used or the problem being solved. In this case one might consider the effort a 2 or more year effort, where the first year is a prototype year, and the second year becomes a true trial implementation version.


The proposal is to make the informal process used during 2006 a formal process during the 2007 year. This process would not look identical to the process used in 2006, but would be designed to accommodate the needs seen during that year. The goal would be that a "New Directions Profile" be developed which would not have formal Connectathon testing but would have a demonstration as part of a New Directions section of HIMSS. It is expected that any New Directions Profile would become a Trial Implementation Supplement in the following year, unless a significant technical or political problem suggested otherwise. Vendors would be educated about this new type of profile and warned that there may be significant technical changes prior to its release as a trial implementation. The project manager would take on the effort of identifying interested parties interested in implementing an intermediate profile of this type. It must be made clear to vendors that a new directions profile is expected to have significant technical changes made in a future year and a vendor, other than the community of interest for the area, may want to delay implementation or may want to implement a prototype only version for participating in demonstration.


Step 1: Each domain would identify proposals which hold the potential for being a new directions profile. The requirements for this would be: a) there is a community of interest which will provide a project manager, manage a separate teleconference/development track, and coordinate with the committee co-chairs b) this profile is not ready for the official process due to standards immaturity or lack of extensive experience in the area. Or any other reason.

Step 2: There is an consensus of the domain's planning & technical committees that the identified profile is an appropriate fit for a New Directions profile.

Step 3: The domain technical and planning co-chairs propose the profile as a New Directions profile to the sponsors of the domain and HIMSS. To avoid extensive use of this track it is important that the sponsors approve all requests.

Step 4: A project manager provided by the community of interest would take on the effort of identifying interested parties to participate in the development effort, manage the teleconferences (with ITI Co-Chair support), and promote the development of demonstration implementations for HIMSS. The Technical Committee would commit meeting time to discuss Use Cases and technology to meet them.

Step 5: A New Directions Public Comment version of the profile is developed and published at a time that fits into the schedule as defined by the project manager. This document is published for public comment using the normal IHE process, including availability on the web page.

Step 6: The domain technical committee works with the community of interest to review the public comments received and publish a New Directions version of the profile.

Step 7: The project manager plans an appropriate demonstration, coordinating with the HIMSS contacts. The project manager plans appropriate testing as part of Connectathon in preparation for the demonstration

Step 8: The community of interest and HIMSS present a demonstration of the profile as part of the New Directions section of the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase floor.

Step 9: The domain planning and technical committees review the appropriateness of moving the new directions profile forward as an official trial implementation version. This includes any needed changes and resolution of all technical issues found during the demonstration. This work must be considered as part of the planning for the years cycle.