2010-05-20 TSC Agenda Innovations Workshop

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Day Date ' Time Icon Event Chair Scribe Room
Thursday 20 May 2010 AM Q1 Technical med.gif HL7 Research and Innovations Workshop
  • Q1: Brainstorming session
    • Starter questions:
      1. What channels should we use to gather and facilitate discussion on new ideas for HL7?
      2. What branding should we give to the R&I function, and what would the rules be around participating?
      3. How should the HL7 organisation select ideas, and promote them?
      4. What should the leadership and editorial function for R&I be?
  • Q2: Conclusions and next steps
    • An ideas sifting exercise to establish the future of Research and Innovation activities by HL7
Ken Lunn, NHS Lynn Laakso Versailles I


Meeting Information

HL7 Research and Innovations Workshop Meeting Minutes

Location: Q1, Q2 Versailles I

Date: 2010-05-20
Time: Q1 and Q2, 9:00am-12:30pm
Facilitator Ken Lunn Note taker(s) Lynn Laakso
Attendance at http://gforge.hl7.org/gf/download/docmanfileversion/5697/7299/2010May_Innovations_attendance.zip
Quorum Requirements Met: n/a


Agenda Topics

  • Q1: Brainstorming session
    • Starter questions:
      1. What channels should we use to gather and facilitate discussion on new ideas for HL7?
      2. What branding should we give to the R&I function, and what would the rules be around participating?
      3. How should the HL7 organisation select ideas, and promote them?
      4. What should the leadership and editorial function for R&I be?
  • Q2: Conclusions and next steps
    • An ideas sifting exercise to establish the future of Research and Innovation activities by HL7

Supporting Documents



  1. Ken Lunn describes the intent of Q1 is to take 1.5 hours to do exercises, to gather ideas thinking out of the box. During Q2 there will be a demonstration of some collaborative software. Then we will review how the Innovations group might operate based on the morning’s discussions.
    • The attendance at this session compared to the last WGM is a smaller group, but self selecting rather than arm-twisting for videos, and Ken is excited about how we’ll get this going.
    • Ken Lunn describes a process of gathering innovation, how to take ideas to funnel and filter to get value.

(Ken's slides *here * , pictorial representation of ideas walking around, then socialized with small groups (BOF, corridor meetings), then how to take into incubation unit.

  • The challenge is to determine how to collate and synthesize these ideas into incubator projects, watched over by the organization, to see if they are worth producing.
  • Ken Lunn has set some exercises. May take only 15 minutes but might take the entirety of the sessions.
  • Starter questions: channels, branding, selection/promotion, leadership&editorial function.
  • Avoid barking mad ideas having HL7 branding but need some brand identification.
  • Q2 software demo and draft terms of reference (perhaps offline)
Exercise 1

First exercise: Elevator pitch, what would you say in three sentences to Doug Fridsma in the elevator to the 17th floor...

  • Written down and hand to Lynn to type up. Skype channels to be discussed during next session.
    • Linda: HL7 is world leader of heath IT standards and has a long history of delivering new products to industry. HL7 is creating an R&I arm to provide a forum for discovery and development of new ideas. This new R&I function will serve HL7's customers with new, leading edge ideas during this period of global transformation in the HIT Industry.
    • Bill: This group is a sounding board well known to all HL7 members where new ideas can be discussed and digested with the expectation that a more fully developed and vetted proposal can be presented to the HL7 board. These ideas will usually be out-of-the-box and creative but not fully formed where a member might feel embarrassed to propose it directly to a board member.
    • Tina: provide open forum for new ideas on how HL7 will operate.
    • Charlie, Gaby, Tina collectively responded: R&I is about
      harvesting great ideas from the HL7 community
      Providing for a safe place to experiment
      Demonstrating the value of new ideas.
    • Rene: HL7 positions itself as an open standards/process organization, which means community is everything. R&I function is an "idea box" that is shown not to be just a litter bin - the ideas are actively acted upon. View from the community into the process not from the board trying to harvest ideas. Indicates something is actively happening.
    • Galen - HL7 R&I is a crucible to flesh out latest thinking and prove which ideas are most viable. It can fast-track the best ideas and validate them with industry. It wiull accelerate industry stabndards to provide useful and realizable capabilities. This pitch focuses on what it offers.
    • Ken McCaslin’s Comment; saw John Powers teach at Northwestern Univ. He said last week, when you’re innovative you have to fail early and often to come up with the next bright idea. Failure is success. Must embrace failure and support those making mistakes to move on to the next great idea.
    • Richard: Great new process for developing and trialing new product, driving innovation. How can ONC help us?
    • Andrew:Brains trust enabling interoperability. Progress is slow. Like business world r&d investment, rather than a crucible of ideas it can become a garden.
    • Helen adds by Skype: HL7's strength is its diverse membership drawn from people at different levels of different types of organizations. Whilst HL7 has many workgroups to address these needs sometimes it is challenging for new ideas to find the right place in HL7. The I&F function provides the forum for members from any constituency to bring new ideas and opportunities forward to HL7 that do not naturally fit within the scope of an existing WG.
Exercise 2

What channels should we use to gather and facilitate discussion on new ideas for HL7. Ideas can be barking mad.

Charlie McCay – play on channel, shopping channel, English channel, or Chanel #5. Use those conceptual ideas. Leadership channels with distributed environment.

Tina says you get ideas from geeks but they are difficult to get them focus, need strong leadership to facilitate allowing people to be heard. Characteristic of the channel.

Ken Lunn asks if this means HL7.tv.

Andrew says innovation /research center set up foundation and scholarship.

Linda also had bottom-up approach. Need annual idea contests, as individual or minimum six work group cohort group. CIC asking how to hook DAMs into the Functional Model. Requiring collaboration. Top down approach with corporate sponsors, bid on ideas come in to fund the best idea – sponsored competition.

Ken McCaslin– loves brainstorming; video venue like YouTube taking off. Concept to video a brainstorm, next person sees the video and adds to their brainstorm and continues to circulate, evolving or chained video. No editing, all ideas accepted. Then you take the whole thread apart and grade the contrubutions.

Becky, look at what other groups are doing. Influence from Google. W3C process another example. Looking at V2/V3/CDA task force interviews are interesting. JIC comparing processes across SDOs, things coming to light to improve processes across SDOs. Ken summarizes sharing experiences of other SDOs in same problem space, as well as commercial. How does google do things on the fly without any standards?

Galen adds you can explore HIMSS to see what other vendors are doing. Can market to vendors having booths, like a moving booth that goes to the other booths.

Bill writes:

  • Elevator speeches developed by this group could be presented informally to targets by HL7 members – not necessarily by board members or through formal channels. E.g., I live in Washington DC a 5 minute walk from ONC HQ and can walk in to present to Doug Fridsma.
  • Web based meetings of this group to continue these interactions on a monthly basis between WGMs and invite targets to participate when the ideas are more developed. HL7 meeting minutes abstracted into newsletter articles posted for all to read.
  • Bill thought that these sessions could be valuable to continue using web tool for interaction on monthly basis between WGM, once ideas developed with target in mind invite that target to come and present online. Electronic channel for brainstorming.

Ricky suggested a sharepoint site, sharing documents for online discussion, standard tool across industry.

Helen notes that such a tool is effective when people have ideas in the middle of the night and have a place to log them when the group is not meeting. Silos of activity within organizations are not working with HL7 Hobbyists to bring their ideas, needs and problems to HL7. Outside the HL7 regulars how do we solicit issues from our benefactor/supporter organizations to see where we have solutions to their problems. Tiny portion of these large organizations actively participates with HL7. Ken interprets as a stakeholder forum working out into the broader community. Linda notes with Immunization Registry, they look automatically to CDC, but CDC says they want everyone on the same software platform. Instead they should bring the problem to HL7 to create standards that are platform independent. Keith notes that timeliness of the HL7 response might prevent them from seeking help from HL7. “Member organizations – not just the members of the organization that attend HL7, but the rest of their organizations... what are the needs and problems of the organizations that are NOT currently being brought to HL7 because HL7 is not currently seen as having solutions.”

Richard notes we should try to couple with people with other experiences, academic institutions, rather than setting up our own university. Stimulate through competitive activity but giving some high level HL7 problems to other groups with experience in that area and have them come to HL7 and workshop with us. Ken interprets compared to Andrew’s idea of the outside coming in to take HL7 problems outside. Helen notes that Mohawk came to HL7 originally to ORC, who passed it to Marketing, who passed it to Education. How to use universities, master’s programs, student projects to accomplish some of our work, and here we have Mohawk doesn’t have a home.

Ioana notes from Frieda, who was listening in earlier. She notes the PIC has ideas on gathering ideas, such as comment boxes during the WGM. Other channels are important. GOC has an email box for suggestions. Ioana adds with IHE they have explicit outreach to the user community to allow them to peg the standards to their needs. If CDC for example had better knowledge of what HL7 brings they might see how it can be done without a common operating platform. Ken says like an ideas at hl7.org email. Ioana notes the VA has experimented with that and it’s been working.

Rene notes we must be careful with public versus non-public. Some occasions call for public comment but some ideas would like to be anonymous, embarrassing stories that they don’t want to become public with what has gone wrong. Can learn more from the mistakes than from the success stories. Ken asks if that speaks to a Darwin award.

Ken McCaslin adds to what Ioana said on IHE having sessions at conferences to invite people to come in and discuss problems and develop profiles around them. Can develop project scope statement dynamically during such a session. If such a PSS is not selected to proceed, they still have a PSS that they can go out to find resources to work on it.

Ken McCaslin notes there is Orchard application which is innovation application. Group members evaluate the participants, novice to expert idea generators. You evaluate ideas as well as be evaluated on your participation. An idea is put out there and someone else picks it up and expands upon it. Linda notes that Pligg (demo) also has a “karma rating”.

Linda notes an international development sandbox such as OHT tooling. Take bundled parts of HL7 product rather than just a specification. F2F discovery channel junkyard wars example. If you really need code built have teams compete in one day for the glory of winning (code-a-thon). Charlie notes you might not get something commercially ready but you get something to work from. Hasn’t worked at VA. Charlie also suggests a questionnaire to membership renewal or ambassador talks. Ken L suggests proactive market research. Ring a few people up, with tele-investigation. Rene suggests doing it well after the meeting. Bill adds people that come as sponsored by companies often must make a trip report back to employers. These are written in more plain English than acronymized and if we could collect these to make a newsletter would be useful to publish as a newsletter, such as feedback_at_hl7 send us your internal report, with ideas and feedback.

Keith notes that new project scope statements don’t get tweeted. Lynn adds that they are added to LinkedIn.

Ken Lunn notes that instead of developing standards why don’t we occasionally “buy” standards - bring in from McKesson or other vendors to submit their standards and then subject them to balloting. Tina notes they do such with a straw man specification for a particular problem and then bring it to the consensus process. Helen adds in Canada they do adopt, adapt, develop sequence for building standards. Rene notes Germany and Netherlands also allow members to bring complete standards for submission. Keith adds profiling other standards to create an HL7 model. Ioana notes other standards outside of health care have constraints for use; or they need to be profiled carefully for use in health care.

Exercise 3

DeBono’s six hats of thinking, next exercise. Under each hat, make a comment about the R&I function. White, blue, black, red green yellow.

White hat – Ian – Ensure there is awareness of the activity; tell what projects are going on, how to engage. Don’t create another silo of activity.

Red hat – Charlie feels hope, motivation, inspiration. Helen feels caution, to avoid duplication or dilution of efforts in multiple groups. We wish to avoid it becoming “just another Work Group”. Charlie notes that Templates WG used to be similar to R&I, where there is a place where participants will shop around to try to find someone to play with.

Blue hat (Keith), brainstorming sessions teaching people in the organization how to do this.

Becky – new ways to develop standards or new financial model, scoping different threads on different themes. If the box is totally open we might spin wheels.

Linda is channeling Freida to say that this must be coordinated in such a way to dovetail and hand off according to ANSI accredited processes. Ioana says she earlier stated we need concrete action items coming out of discussion today. Perhaps she wants to take some of these items?

Recessed for break.


Linda introduces Jason Carley, who joins us by GoToMeeting to demonstrate Pligg for the VA innovations environment.

Linda adds this is used as finite period of time, not just left up. Working on priorities for “we will be successful when”… and the comments become priorities and objectives. They obtain a level of consensus they can act upon.

Has been suggested to Bob to use for day one of the Board Retreat.

Configuration is robust, can do up/down vote or Likert scale.

Next steps. We have had two interesting workshops. What is the plan going forward, another work shop or something more concrete? If there’s no commitment to engage, we should stop.

Is there interest by the TSC? Take project scope statement and plug into the environment to collect comments towards endorsement of the project, suggests Charlie. You can thereby see who is engaged with a particular project. From TSC perspective since previous workshop how to manage BOF activities with no WG willing to take on endorsement. Need a separate stream for that activity. Early DCM work, new ITS work are examples. With an ‘incubator’ badge on it perhaps won’t be confused with the mainstream development work. Could make available as a resource people can use in committees.

Linda says they are not endorsing just this one software, and that there are others.

Ken Lunn says we’re looking for helping those things that don’t have a natural home. Do you need a formal committee reporting to the TSC to manage that activity?

Charlie notes that as with the DCM project, or ITS ideas, they have a natural home but they are not on the mainstream agenda and dissipate the primary focus of what HL7 is doing.

Ioana notes that we could have a project so set up the infrastructure, or process to analyze the R&I input; the project going through the project scope statement process would provide visibility to the effort and an opportunity to engage.

Charlie notes that the channels are routes for getting ideas, using positive outreach. Ioana says Freida had noted that this was done in the past but the positive outreach effort was not sustained. Charlie asks who would take on that effort, Ken Lunn echoed the question.

Andrew notes we should define the process to collect the ideas, fund them and move forward. Ken sees a step forward to set up the collaborative environment, put the ideas in, and anything not receiving support or momentum is retired after 6 months. Need to draft rules of engagement for the collaborative environment. ACTION ITEM: Ken will do that in the next week or so. It was also asked if we should proceed immediately to driving some issues.

Ian notes that Tooling and RIMBAA are already collecting ideas on the Wiki and another collaborative location is adding another location for them. Charlie notes that they can link from the collaborative environment back to the wiki and from the wiki back to the R&I area. Linda asks if R&I idea generation can be marked or tagged as Board process or marked to TSC for PSS approval. Can be tagged for interest by specific Work Groups. We might have a PSS that scopes the input from the R&I group. Charlie notes that we could track Project Scope Statements in this environment with indications when the TSC has approved it. Ioana cautions that we have made available version control and tracking functions in GForge for years and they are not being used well. Now we are seeing issue tracking on the wikis. We need to pay attention to the tools we are using.

Andrew: Some R&I will spawn HL7 activity some will spawn activity elsewhere.

Ioana: Value is that you can have ideas not necessarily acted upon. Allows engagement at a different level

Linda thanks the group and asks to set up a demo for the HL7 webmasters to see the feature.

Ken Lunn notes some work can be done by HL7 staff but requires some work to run the committee function and manage debate on policy. Debate if something does not have a natural home, should it have a home in HL7…

Charlie: if this becomes a brokering function as it bubbles up to the top people will see it. Andrew then also notes you can find the areas in which PEOs can put their funding, where they would contract with HL7 to do a piece of work.

Ken Lunn notes no one’s day job is to do this. Linda has staff to whom she can direct this work. Not everyone does. How to turn this into a driven agenda with resources.

Tina notes a project manager glues the process together. However if we start showing dollar signs with this work, how will the Board react if it splinters our business model?

Charlie notes, you put the ideas in this container, it has a voting function. The projects that have done PSS so far have gained involvement and traction.

Tina says if it’s not happening in the HL7 current environment will it find another group to do it?

Ken McCaslin notes DCM didn’t have adequate traction to move forward until it was found to be a subset of the templates function and then found a home.

Andrew notes for example, they’re into funding a telemedicine campus in western Sydney, if there were opportunities for that development in HL7 they could channel off some of the funding.

Charlie notes if HL7 members get together and note they want to fund an HL7 university. Board might endorse it or might say they will do so anyway. Still can use the HL7 collaborative membership community to facilitate that.

Andrew notes that the HL7 board is not structured around investment but around members of the HL7 community. Would such a suggestion be a challenge to the Board?

Charlie notes the Health Story Project is such an effort, using HL7 process to gain endorsement. If national initiatives put their great ideas in such an R&I database they may either find additional resources for their work or learn that others have already done the work.

Charlie notes community, standards development (SD) Env, SD process, education, and other stuff around standards development. Within that community let’s use that environment to identify sets of activities and then identify how to resource our engagement.

Rik asks if it is a fundraising activity or ideas generation. Andrew counters it is both. Ken hears there is value in a brokerage activity, and some activities might step outside the current realm of activity inside. We’d engage the usual stakeholders like NEHTA within HL7 or sometimes outside. Andrew notes we can use tagging to see whether an idea is likely to go through HL7 process, or some other community, or having no idea where its target would be. If money is available for an idea then you know where you should encourage it to run.

Charlie asks are you voting with your money, essentially bidding. Ioana asks if this is an auction? Linda notes it becomes viral, with people sending others links to their ideas to vote for it.

Charlie notes you can set these as a prize for a competitive idea for some partial amount of funding. $10,000 might not be enough to complete a whole project but might entice several others to contribute. Andrew notes there are different areas such as Health Story, ISO, CEN, and also a community of PEOs, then the community of vendors. HL7 sells the idea space as where we are going to engage the idea generation and people can engage and note related projects they are engaged in.

Ken Lunn summarizes and notes there is an appetite for setting up a brokerage.

Charlie, Linda and Ken Lunn could take an action to set up a basic platform and work out some policies around it. Linda has no servers outside the firewall, but can contribute expertise; Ken has a server. Linda notes the Board can “eat their own dog food” and use for the July meeting, and then provide an evaluation in October. Charlie asks if we can get Electronic Services to set it up, but if they don’t have resource and want to set it up externally we can do so. Bill notes the request.

Lynn notes that as templates and RIMBAA are already doing some idea generation should they be consulted? Tina asks if the VenueGen software has any of this ability?

Ken Lunn notes we should bring a formal committee structure and terms of reference they can bring it to the TSC, and how to drive this. Right now it is an appointed committee, and should be an elected committee going forward. Charlie notes it should be a project under the TSC for now. By next WGM they intend to have structure set for the committee and some sort of collaborative environment. Then they will see if other committees who want to pilot it.

Objective becomes that by next WGM might have a proper committee meeting with a clear agenda and invite people to come and give presentations from the idea list, evaluate and enhance the process moving forward.

Linda notes we need branding for those outside of HL7 approved work streams. Freida will want to see process developed for moving from incubator to mainstream.

Adjourned 12:35 pm BZT.

Meeting Outcomes

Actions (Include Owner, Action Item, and due date)
  • Bill / Electronic Services will work with Linda to set up a demo for the HL7 webmasters to see the feature.
Next Meeting/Preliminary Agenda Items
  • By next WGM they intend to have structure set for the committee.
  • Objective becomes that by next WGM might have a proper committee meeting with a clear agenda and invite people to come and give presentations from the idea list, evaluate and enhance the process moving forward.
  • Linda notes the Board can “eat their own dog food” and use for the July meeting, and then provide an evaluation of collaborative environment in October. Then they will see if there are other committees who want to pilot it.