Standardizing Software Services

I recently participated in a webinar with Ken Rubin from HP (formerly EDS) who is the Chief Architect for their Healthcare practice.  The webinar was sponsored by the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS).  You can access it on demand by registering here.

The topic was about the need to standardize, and the benefits of standardizing, software services.  There are many IT standards in healthcare and other industries around document structures, data payloads and information sematics.  Yet, there has been marginal progress on standardizing the functional behaviors or architectures which are needed to create, manage and manipulate that data.

What I think is unique and interesting about what Ken has started is a systematic joint collaboration across healthcare standard organizations.  A collaboration which can result in standards and best practices which cover data structures, information semantics, essential software service behaviors, and associated proven architectures. 

I also think the timing is right.  With the passage of the recent U.S. stimulus bill, there will be the funding, the attention, and the priority given to realizing an approach like this into broad adoption.  I believe this since a comprehensive set of standards beyond data representations will be necessary to achieve the U.S. President's goal of an interoperable, electronic healthcare system at a price that makes sense. 

Until next time,


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