This is a Confluence page for HL7 Australia focused on the Australian FHIR Management Framework

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FHIR Management Framework for the governance of FHIR standards development in Australia

HL7 Australia and CSIRO have partnered with the Australian Digital Health Agency and the Department of Health and Aged Care to establish an Australian FHIR Management Framework (AFMF) for the governance of FHIR standards development in Australia. 

The AFMF is pivotal to enabling the free flow of data, information, and knowledge across the Australian health system and beyond.  Its goal is to provide a process by which FHIR resources can be assimilated to form national data sharing standards and governance and to consolidate, expand and enhance the Australian FHIR community whose capabilities will be key to supporting interoperability targets in the coming months and years. 

The audience for the framework is those currently or looking to become engaged in the development of FHIR specifications and those analysing or supporting digital health standardisation in Australia. 

A first priority of the AFMF is to build and maintain an Australian FHIR Core (a set of FHIR® Implementation Guides (IGs) that meet defined use cases but are reusable, scalable, extensible, and underpin the free flow of clinical and other associated information across the Australian health sector). 

The AFMF will comprise an Australian FHIR Community Process (AFCP) and will be governed by an Australian FHIR Coordination Committee (AFCC). The AFCP is the recommended standards development process for national FHIR specifications in Australia and the Australian FHIR Coordination Committee is a committee delegated by HL7 Australia to oversee the ongoing development and application of the AFMF.  Both the committee and the development process will be supported by a secretariat, hosted by HL7 Australia and infrastructure and subject matter experts from CSIRO

The attached Public Review Version of the AFMF v1.1 describes both these components in detail and the broader context in which it will operate. HL7 Australia invites the FHIR community to review and provide comments on this initial working draft. You can provide comments using any of the following avenues:

  • By emailing the HL7 Australia Board at
  • Adding comments below on this AFMF Confluence page. Note: Users will need to login to this Confluence site to access the comments section.
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  1. Page 4:  "free flow of data" - the use of free is problematic as it can mean both free as in unencumbered or as in it costs no money.

                    "pivotal" - I think it may be accurate to say the AFMF may be pivotal to the flow of FHIR data but not all data as some data has nothing to do with FHIR and presumably the AFMF.

  2. Page 5: "AFMF aims to build and maintain an 'Australian FHIR® core'" - I don't think a framework does any building or maintaining.

                  "The efficiency, effectiveness and cost of health interface engines and exchanges are enhanced by standards that reduce information impedance." - I don't think we want to enhance costs but rather reduce them.

  3. Page 11: "provides specific comment" - to whom does AFCC provide commentary and does AFCC have a veto on FCP projects?

                   "interoperability plan" - which interoperability plan is this referring to?

  4. Page 12: "candidate projects will be identified and brought forward via whichever AFCP Participant is most accessible, whether or not it is the most appropriate" - maybe refer to "whether or not the project is the most appropriate" is that is what you mean?  Not sure what you mean by an appropriate or inappropriate project if that is the case.

                    "community" - there are many references to the community.  What defines this community given this is potentially not constrained by HL7 AU?  Can the community be two organisations?

  5. Page 13: "Once the AFCC declares a project, it is listed on the HL7 AU website" - will only AFCP projects be listed on the HL7 AU website?

                    "Project leadership shall be agreed upon with the AFCC" - does the AFCC have veto over project leadership?  

                    Does the AFCC carry an understanding of or ownership of a national digital health architecture within which decisions about project appropriateness will be decided?  If so, will such an architecture be government focussed  or industry focussed?

  6. Page 18:  "The AFCC comprises eleven people" - do people lose their position if they leave the nominating position or organisation?  do these people need to be endorsed by HL7 AU members?

                     Who oversees the balance, openness of the AFCC?  How do we ensure a balance for consensus building across stakeholders given industry has one direct avenue for representation yet it appears confidential AFCC business can npot be shard beyond the MSIA org rather than to MSIA members?

  7. Page 23: 3.3.8 - This section seems superfluous to be included in the AFCC section on terms of reference.  The CSIRO is funded by govt to participate in FHIR goverance.

  8. Page 26: What do the red and blue colours mean?  Does red mean it operates under HL7 AU governance/processes?

                      Will the FHIR tooling and infrastructure provided by CSIRO belong to HL7 or govt or CSIRO?

                      "Entities and instruments via which agreement to standardise is consolidated" - why is industry not part of this agreement?

                      This slide depicts industry as only standards implementors.  This neglects the contribution industry makes to the development of standards.  Standards should be a partnership between government and industry operating within an independent standards process.