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Organizational Relations Committee

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Committee Overview


The Organizational Relations Committee shall be responsible for initiating and/or managing, under the direction of the CEO, the relationship between HL7 and various other organizations, associations, and consortia. The Organizational Relationships Committee shall draft appropriate memoranda of understanding (MOU) and association charters addressing these relationships. The CEO shall bring these documents before the Board for consideration and approval.

Co-Chairs and Committee Members

Board Appointed Chairs

Don Mon
American Health Information Management Association
Phone: +1 312-233-1135
Scott Robertson
Kaiser Permanente
Phone: +1 310-200-0231

Committee Members

Charles Jaffe MD PhD
Health Level Seven International
Phone: +1 858-720-8200
Charles Meyer
Independent Consultant
Phone: +1 407-695-8338
Helen Stevens Love (representing the Technical Steering Committee)
Gordon Point Informatics Ltd.
Phone: +1 250-598-0312
Klaus Veil
Phone:+61 412-746-457

Meeting Information

Organizational Agreements

List of Organizational Agreements

Official Documents on

Concepts and Processes

ORC Statuement of Understanding presentation Jan 2011 Sydney WGM

Formal versus Informal Relationships

Not all interactions between HL7 and other organizations require formal relationships to be established. For example, anyone attending an HL7 work group session may express information or opinions on behalf of themselves, their employer, or associations they participate in. A key point in such informal exchanges is that no official action should be based solely on uncorroborated statements of informal sources. Formal relationships acknowledge a common purpose between HL7 and the other organization and establish specific contacts to ensure that both organization's statements, positions, etc, can be validated with authority. Formal relationships are defined either as a component of a project, or through a Statement of Understanding.

Previously, formal agreements were defined in either a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or an Associate Charter Agreement (ACA). As of the October 2010 Working Group Meeting in Cambridge, MA, new relationships will employ, and existing relationships will be renewed under, the SOU/Project framework.

Statement of Understanding (SOU)

A Statement of Understanding establishes a broad general relationship between organizations expressing a common interest with similar goals and objectives. It can express where the organizations will recognized each other's members for, e.g., meeting attendance or access to members-only materials. An SOU may serve as an "umbrella agreement" over a set or series of projects, but SOUs are not specific to a particular project and do not establish contractual obligations.

Organizational Relationships via Projects

HL7 Project Statements include defining any collaborative work efforts. Defined work activities or responsibilities involving other organizations constitute a formal relationship with those organizations. The nature and extent of the relationship is defined in the Project Statement. Additional projects may build on these relationships, but the relationship remains tied to the respective projects. If a broader relationship is developed, that shall be acknowledged and established in a Statment of Understanding (SOU)

In some cases, there many be monetary contracts involved as well. Organizational Relationships are not bound to monetary considerations except to the extent that an HL7 Project includes, or is included in, those monetary contracts.

How to establish a formal relationship

Formal relationships must be approved by the HL7 Board of Directors. The Organizational Relations Committee is responsible for developing and maintaining the relationships. Initiation of relationships often comes from the work and requirements of the Work Groups. The following steps are a guideline for Work Group Co-chairs, and others, on how to suggest or initialize a organizational relationship:

  1. Check for an existing relationship
    1. Look through the current list of relationships for the organization you are interested in. If found, check with the contact person(s) to information or interaction needed.
    2. Also look for related organizations, or associations. This may provide an indirect or alternative source for information. Finding an "alternate" does not preclude a relationship request for the specific organization(s) you are looking for.
    3. Would any other Work Groups interact with the organization you are interested in? Check their stated relationships. Informal contacts may be available. Suggesting a formal relationship should be considered if one is not found.
  2. Suggest a new formal relationship.
    1. Collect as much of the following information as possible
      • Organization Name
      • Web site or other background information sources
      • Work Group(s) that need this relationship
      • Why is the relationship needed. Brief discussion of why a formal relationship is needed and/or beneficial to HL7 (and the other organization.
      • Suggestions for liason(s) (both directions)
    2. Review this information with the Work Group Co-chair(s), as appropriate
    3. Send the request to the Organizational Relations Committee Chairs.