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CIC Mission Charter

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Health Level Seven
Mission and Charter Statement 3 July 2007
Group Name: Clinical Interoperability Council (CIC)


This Council provides the standards development framework, organizational processes and forums to collaborate with the clinical community to define content, flow and other domain requirements necessary to the development of robust health data standards. The Council will provide mechanism for clinical domains to develop common approaches to standards-related activities and form consensus on issues of interest among multiple groups. This Council will be unique to Health Level Seven in that the focus is on the clinical content, not the technology of the standards.


The Clinical Interoperability Council will initially establish a process whereby a master set of data elements with their attributes will be defined, using a common process and a common set of attributes. The attributes will include a name (terminology), a unique and unambiguous definition, units, data type and complete value sets. These data elements will be vetted by domain specific experts who become final word judges for those assigned terms. The CIC will define a process by which these data elements are kept up-to-date. The CIC will also define the tool sets required to use and integrate these data elements into clinically useful applications. The expectation is (1) these data elements will eventually encompass the entire set of data elements required for all aspects of clinical care and the management of that care; (2) only one definition per term will be permitted; and (3) no one group is likely to use all data elements, but any data elements used will come from that master set.

The Clinical Interoperability Council will be the experts in all clinical matters. This group will ultimately define flow of data in the clinical setting, query characteristics from a clinical perspective, EHR content and trigger events, clinical guideline from the clinical perspective, disease management protocols, decision support content and focus, and other clinical issues.

The Clinical Interoperability Council is not expected to deal with any technical aspects of these data standards. The output from the CIC will be into the appropriate technical groups within HL7 who will apply the clinical content to the technical standards. While the CIC is expected to include mostly practicing clinical people (in contrast to technical informaticians), some members of HL7 will participate in both the CIC and in H7 technical committees.

The CIC will provide an environment where the different clinical communities will come together to agree on common projects and common processes, much of the work of producing clinical content is expected to occur as part of the clinical professional societies’ meetings.

HL7 will provide essential knowledge and information to support the CIC.

Formal Relationships with Other HL7 Groups

The Clinical Interoperability Council will have no formal interactive relationship with any other HL7 group; however, the products of the CIC will be transmitted to the appropriate Technical Committees or Special Interest Groups within HL7 for use. The TCs most likely affected include Vocabulary, Electronic Health Record, RCRIM and Patient Care. The SIGs will include the domain specific SIGs such as Anesthesiology, Cardiology, Pediatrics, Emergency Care and others.

Formal Relationships with Groups Outside HL7

The Clinical Interoperability Council anticipates defining an informal relationship with all clinical professional societies, including the international community, interested institutes of health, and other professional organizations with interested in clinical data standards content and use. Working with the HL7 Board, the CIC anticipates signing informal Memoranda of Understanding with these groups.