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AID Transition Plan (WG to HUG)

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Issue: How should we transition the AID group from being a WG within HL7, to a HUG (HL7 User Group) within HL7? This has an inpact on governance, the role payed by AID within the organization, its deliverables etc.

  • The GOM is silent on HUGs, and on transitioning WGs to a HUG
  • HL7 are currently piloting the concept of a HUG in the form of a newly created Immunization HUG.
  • The HL7 User Group task force coordinates the creation/management/piloting of HUGs, pending the definition of more formal goverance procedures.
  • Ken McCaslin, chair of the TSC, has requested that AID create a transition plan for discussion during the May 2015 WGM.
Note: this is only exploratory at this point in time, AID hasn't made a decision yet as to whether it will
actually turn itself into a formal user group.

Pros/Cons of being a HUG rather than a WG


  • AID (and RIMBAA) has always exhibited the characteristics of a user group - e.g. we don't create any standards, we don't focus on standards developers but on standards users (see AID Mission and Charter). This is also expressed by the fact that we tend to score low on the 'WG health metrics', because the focus of these metrics is on standards development. As such being a HUG would potentially be a better fit than being a WG: HUGs focus on usage of the standard, and not on the development of standards.
  • HUGs are a new and untested concept within HL7. This gives us an opportunity to shape the procedures and the workings of all future HUGs, whilst ensuring that those procedures will be suitable for AID HUG as well. If we had more awareness within HL7 for the requirements of HUGs we may also be better positioned to achieve our mission, e.g. because of HL7's ability to do marketing of AID's activities, or HL7's capabilities to facilitate meetings/webinars/ etc.


  • HUGs are a new and untested concept within HL7. As such there is no guarantee that whatever goverance and procedures we come up with initially for AID will be the same in a few years - HL7 could even pull the plug on all its HUGs if the pilot (i.e. the Immunization HUG) is found to be unsuccessfull.
  • HL7 regards user groups as being a 'member benefit', which means all discussions and products may be unaccessable to those not a member of the HUG or HL7 itself. The Immunization HUG has its own (closed) Wiki.

Transition process

Essentially the transition is a two-step process:

  1. Petitioning the TSC to disband the AID WG (a process defined by the HL7 GOM)
  2. Petitioning xxx (unclear at this point in time, probably the HL7 User Group task force) to create a AID HUG. The process/forms to do this are comparable to the creation of a new WG. See forms on the User Group Task Force Draft Documents page.
    • Note that the forms were created for a HUG focusing on 'clinical users' of HL7 standards, so there'll need to be changes given that AID focuses on a different kind of HL7 users.

We'll need to agree upon the financial aspects:

  1. HUG Membership fees
    • For the Immunization HUG, who meet monthly via a webconference, and may eventually have 1 annual face to face meeting, membership of the HUG is USD 100, or it's free if one is a voting member of HL7 International.
    • AID has multiple face to face meetings a year, and doesn't charge any membership fee, the meetings are open for all to attend. We may have to charge USD 100 a year for those that are NOT members of either HL7 international nor any HL7 affiliate.
      • All meetings outside of the formal User Group webinars are not managed by HL7 International, all other meetings can be managed as the user group wishes (which also means they could be opened up to non-user group members as well). However if it want to use the official User Group approach of webinars, closed listserv, etc. then this requires that all of the AID User Group members follow the User Group membership approach.
  2. Face to face meeting fees
    • A registration fee may be called for to compensate the costs of the meeting facailities (mostly these are sponsored venues in the case of AID) and catering (20-45 Euro, $26-$60). A fee of EUR 50/$65 was considered to be acceptable when we discussed such meeting fees at some of AIDs meetings.
    • Any surplusses could potentially be used to fund the travel costs of invited speakers (who would otherwise be unable to attend).

Are there any groups/organizations that the AID HUG would like to have a partnership with?

  • Professional associations??
  • DICOM/IHE/OpenEHR user/implementation groups (should those exist)??

HUG Health Metrics

The following are some of the health metrics for HUGs:

  • Is there a documented Charter and Purpose for the User Group?
  • Is there a published schedule of meetings for the User Group?
  • Are there published meeting minutes for the User Group?
  • How many members does the User Group have? What is the trend?
    • No analysis has been done up to now, no formal membership as of this point in time
    • Historically, there have probably been about 150 different individuals that have attended any of the AID face to face meetings during the last few years.
  • How many members of the User Group are either voting members of an HL7 Affiliate or HL7 International?
    • No analysis has been done up to now, no formal membership as of this point in time
  • If it applies, how many members of the User Group are members of a non HL7 group that has a formal relationship with HL7 (e.g. AIRA)?
    • AID has no formal relationships with groups outside of HL7.
  • How many members of the User Group have paid for User Group membership only (they have no other HL7 membership)?
    • No analysis has been done up to now, no formal membership as of this point in time
  • What is the attendance for each User Group meeting webinar?
    • No webinars have ever been held in the history of RIMBAA nor AID
  • How frequently are the User Group meetings being held?
    • Three times year at WGMs, 2-3 other face to face meetings a year.