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Specifications Editorial Committee (SEC) formation

February 10, 2015  |  from: Thomas Beale


As lead on the Specifications Program, I have set up the initial membership of the Specifications Editorial Committee (SEC) being composed of people who have long term competence in openEHR, and who are reasonably representative of the vendors and major research groups using openEHR, as well as the clinical domain. My thanks to these members for agreeing to join and work on the specifications.

The SEC sits within the Specification Program governance framework, which in its current draft has been reviewed by a number of experienced people (this diagram probably gives the simplest picture). The initial membership is a 'working start', since we know we need more members over time. The core committee will use the governance provisions, modelled on Apache meritocratic concepts, to add further members. Original members have no special privileges with respect to later members. All of the process will be conducted openly, and the work will be visible online, largely on the openEHR Jira trackers (component specific trackers are being set up).

We see the key responsibility for the Specification Program as being to clinical practice and the patient. Practically this means that the Program's responsibility is to advance the specifications in an appropriate way for use by system developers (commercial vendors, academic, other) who deliver real working clinical solutions based on openEHR. This involves correct management of versions, releases, backward compatibility and other typical issues. If more experimental / pure research variations on openEHR are required, they will be created as an appropriate branch or fork of the main releases.

One of the key improvements for the future process has been to separate the various specifications and related artefacts into 'components' which are each separately releasable. The list of these components is currently as follows:

  • Conformance specifications
  • Clinical Decision Support specifications
  • Querying specifications (AQL)
  • Terminology
  • Service Model / APIs
  • Archetype Model (ADL/AOM)
  • Reference Model (EHR, EHR Extract, Demographics)
  • Implementation Technologies (schemas, transformation algorithms etc)

The SEC will commence operations, according to the above-mentioned governance framework. In summary it will be as follows:

  1. Initial election of chair.
  2. Commence review of outstanding problem reports and change requests, so as to design forthcoming releases for 2015.
  3. Determine priorities & workload
  4. Bring new members on board as required by the work.
  5. Make adjustments as required to the governance process.
  6. Publish new releases.

Over time, various new mailing lists etc will be introduced to support this work.

Members of the openEHR community are welcome to comment on any aspect of the Specifications Program, either publicly (openehr-technical list) or to me privately if they wish.

- thomas beale


Date, time and place: London 10 Feb 2015


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