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2013-9-25 User Group Task Force WGM mtg

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  • Open Discussion about HL7 User Group
  • Seeking volunteers for the HL7 UG Taskforce
  • Identifying deliverables and plan for HL7 User Group


  • John Hatem (chair/scribe), Rene Spronk, Craig Gabron, Freida Hall, Susan Matney, Bonnie McAllister, Ken McCaslin, Kai Heitmann, Virginia Riehl(scribe), Mark McDougal, Karen Van Hentenryck

Minutes/Conclusions Reached

  • All folks introduced themselves.
  • John Hatem presented introductory slides to provide some context for the HL7 User Group discussion.
    • The topics ranged from:
      • Definition of a User Group – similar to the Monday night discussion but with a few more details.
        • Focus on implementers
        • Other types of communities ‘may’ be possible, but the UG communities will not be focused on developing standards
      • In what type of forum will the UG communities meet?
        • Virtual
        • Face to face
      • Are the face to face meetings local, regional, national, or global?
        • Initial face to face meetings are global e.g. 1 or 2 associated with other meetings e.g. HL7 Plenary, IHIC
      • Will there be a list serv or other social media for the various UG communities?
        • Yes, initially we will request a list serv for exchange of documents, plans and scheduled events.
        • Plan for future growth into a full blown social media site that spans all HL7 UG (HUG) communities, organized by topic/community.
      • Is this one UG social media environment? Or multiple environments
      • See previous comments
      • Should there be a User Group governance structure e.g. president, president-elect, secretary, treasure?
        • To be determined
      • Relationship of the UG to other entities.
        • What is the formal relationship to HL7 international?
        • What is the formal relationship to the HL7 affiliates?
        • Suggestion was to do a survey of how other groups within HL7 are meeting the UG needs today?
        • Will Connectathons that HL7 sponsors e.g. FHIR, be part of the HL7 User Group?
      • What topics should the UG’s cover?
      • UG members determine the agenda(s) for their groups
        • Is there a membership cost to join the UG? TBD, but here are a few thoughts
        • All existing HL7 members are included in the UG communities.
        • All non HL7 members may be required to pay a HL7 UG membership fee. These individuals often don’t want to be part of the standards development activities at our HL7 WG meetings, but would like to meet and interact with a community of users who share a common goal. . Cost to be determined
      • UG Plan Deliverables
        • Request list serv for HL7 UG
        • Request phone number / meeting times for HL7 UG Task Force team to meet and deliver on plan contents
      • Request / review the Publicon survey results for more details on the UG feedback from the HL7 membership
      • Identify one HL7 User Group community to pilot the first UG virtual community
      • In parallel assess / evaluate an existing HL7 UG community e.g. RIMBA – group volunteered by Rene
      • Identify what evaluation criteria and data we want to collect to assess the viability of the UGs. What are we measuring? What is a measure of success? What is a measure of failure?
  • Notes from Virginia Riehl follow - will be consolidated above in the future.

a. Ken McCaslin connecting to an existing lab user group

b. Ken McCaslin – We do not seem to be able to penetrate certain areas. International Chaplaincy contacted Ken about HL7 developing chaplaincy related messages. This may also be true for nurses. The definition of a user may be ambiguous.

c. Susan Matney – Nurses group came together to determine what was specific to nursing. How to bring together groups that have a common interest. SNOMED has just put together a specialty SIG. Care Plan started with nursing and has expanded to others.

d. John Hatem – How do we identify communities of users and reach out to them? Maybe we can identify a few groups and start the outreach there. User Groups could be organized around disciplines.

e. Freida – Can reach out to groups and have presence at their meetings

f. Ken – Should not tie to membership to get wider participation

g. Rene – User groups in his country are organized around a specific problem. This can include other standards. Engage by participating in existing groups and conferences.

h. John – HL7 may be able to provide an organizing structure. User Group membership dues structure would be a nominal amount. Do not tie to other benefits.

i. Bonnie – Employers may not agree to support the fee for the user group. If low enough the individual might pay on their own.

j. Ken – Asked about fee structure

k. Craig – First thing to do is to identify the user group structure and chairs. Set up regular schedule. Maybe monthly. Access can be controlled through a list serv mechanism. Can decide if non-members will be charged. Group can talk about topics and what they want to do. Involvement will expand over time.

l. Rene – We are global. That has consequences. Time differences, language differences. Will need local user groups.

m. John – Need to have some organization and leadership to sustain the user groups.

n. Karen – We have HL7 Europe and HL7 Asia.

o. Rene – Do not know at what level the groups will be organized. Thinks this will be at a country level.

p. John Hatem – Are there CDA user groups?

q. Rene – IHIC has the “Show Me Your CDA” group. IHIC has become academic and does not have implementers any more.

r. John – There may be a subset of IHIC members who would be interested in other user groups.

s. Craig – The Town Hall will be an opportunity for discussion. Might use the ListServ to identify sponsors. Need sponsors/leaders who organize the group and provide continuity.

t. Rene – User Groups may have wider interest. How will we determine if they are HL7 user groups?

u. John – Today HL7 does not help anyone implement standards. If the use group is solving a problem, that might be enough

v. Craig – X12 user groups help developers and implementers understand standards. If they have a question, they can get answers. X12 user groups are free and run on listservs.

w. Need to see what fees that are charged for other user groups.

x. John Hatem – Oracle person who oversees standards activities. He indicated that we should reach out to OMG.

y. Freida – We need to determine how the WGs would be engaged with user groups to bring domain knowledge. The Co-Chairs are responsible for monitoring and responding to suggested changes from the list serv.

z. Rene – For out of cycle RIMBA meetings they get sponsorship for the meeting room and do not charge a fee to attend.

aa. Ken – I drop user group membership if I do see a membership. Companies have user groups. This is usually a marketing tool.

bb. John – Vendor user groups charge a fee for membership. Individuals pay to attend the user group meeting.

cc. Ken – Need to cover user group expenses, e.g., conference lines

dd. Craig – FHIR might be a good start for a user group. Might want to have a user group portal on the web page. Might want to have monthly meeting of the user group leads to share information.

ee. John – Trying to plan activities to complete by January.

ff. Ken – Hard to schedule calls world-wide.

gg. Freida – Have rotated times to accommodate locations across the world

hh. Rene – Have long breaks to allow informal networking

ii. John – Need to identify communities and what they will do.

jj. Craig – Do a survey to collect interest, suggestions for user groups, leaders

kk. John – May not get answers from a survey

ll. Ken – Could you ask questions that identify the user group and its purpose? Here is my issue…….

mm. Karen – We should look at Publicom data

nn. Mark – We have not had success with the caregiver membership. Was president of Chicago HIMSS chapter. All volunteers, had sponsors for meetings, had website, and collected fees. Maybe we should start small and build as demand dictates. Remain virtual. This can easily be supported by listservs. Have monthly webinars. Explicity leverage the affiliates to do local user groups. Have two face-to-face meetings, e.g., IHIC and one other.

oo. John – Believes that we should have an annual Face to Face meeting.