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HL7 Vocabulary Facilitator Roles, Responsibilities and Tasks

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This document provides a comprehensive set of roles, responsibilities and tasks to be fulfilled by those who have accepted the responsibility to act as Vocabulary Facilitators for various work groups.

How vocabularies are used

Vocabulary Use.png

Vocabulary Work Group Related Resposibilties

  • Attendance
    • Vocabulary facilitator’s meeting
      • Sunday Q4 “pre-meeting”
        • Ongoing development of resource documentation
          • Availability of tooling and location
          • Terminology development principles and best practices (level of abstraction)
          • Guidance on how to assign vocabulary to non-RIM based models (i.e. DAMs)
            • Non-overlapping
            • Discrete
            • Domain specific guidance; flexibility to use different design approaches
          • Guidance on vocabulary usage for RIM-based artifacts
            • Proper usage based on HL7 vocabulary defined semantics (semantics are defined by position within the HL7 terminology)
            • Be aware of implied semantics where codes are in conflict with RIM properties (Kathleen will write up example)
          • Harmonization best practices (
        • Update on vocabulary issues since the last WGM
        • Report on harmonization results
          • Discuss general issues identified by harmonization
          • Use actual harmonization proposals and surrounding discussion; discuss within the group
          • Review published decisions
        • Announcement on harmonization schedule
          • Deadlines
          • Tooling changes
    • Thursday evening facilitator roundtable
      • Notice of vocabulary proposals
      • Vocabulary harmonization issues
    • Vocabulary tutorials
      • Introductory tutorial – attend one time
      • Advanced tutorial – required attendance every three years to maintain education up-to-date
    • Attendance at domain work group meeting (as needed)
      • Vocabulary facilitator role presentation to the domain work group
      • Schedule 1 +/- quarter for update from the vocab WG
      • Monitor the domain WG listserv
      • Provide regular updates to/from WG co-chairs
  • Subscribe to the Vocab list
  • Participate in the development of Vocabulary facilitator related resources
    • Core principles (Chapters 4 and 5)
  • Development of skills, knowledge and abilities
    • Working knowledge of vocabulary tooling
    • Knowledge of existing HL7 vocabulary structure and content relevant to their WG
    • Knowledge of good vocabulary practices
    • Knowledge of vocabulary binding

Domain work group focus

  • Act as the vocabulary expert for the work group
    • Have familiarity with the domain being supported
    • Have working knowledge of the harmonization proposal template
    • Be able to describe harmonization processes
    • Be clear on the usage of “structural” vs. “clinical” vocabulary
    • Have knowledge of “all” tooling
    • Working knowledge of RoseTree vocabulary functions
      • Updates
  • Advise the work group on good vocabulary practices
  • Assist the Work group in the construction/selection of value sets for coded attributes
  • Act as a liaison between the work group and the vocabulary work group
    • Update the domain WG on Vocab WG activities
    • Update the Vocab WG on domain WG activities
  • Be actively involved in the work group activities
  • Coordinate with the work group modeling facilitator on active projects
    • Identify and communicate vocabulary changes
      • Validate
      • Confirm
    • Review ballot proposals
  • Assist the work group with vocabulary binding
  • Assist the work group in the management of vocabulary domains (create, retire, update)

External focus

  • Harmonization
    • Prepare harmonization submissions
    • Attend harmonization meetings when submissions are being considered
  • OID registry
    • Register code systems
  • Facilitate communication between external terminology Standards Development Organizations and the work group
  • Represent vocabulary issues to the TSC/Steering division