Austin Kreisler
Roel Barelds
Davera Gabriel
Sylvia Thun
Julie James
Robert Hausam
Caroline Macumber
Wayne Kubick
Reuben Daniels
Ted Klein

Discussion Topics

  1. Scope of the potential product family
  2. Decision point: Will we move forward with the product family?
  3. Example draft of mission and charter
    1. Template here


Julie notes we have members of the HTA here with us this time. Austin welcomes the group.

Davera asks for background on the issue. Julie reports it was discussed on the last HTA call. Reviewed minutes. Austin shows the slide deck we looked at last time. 

Austin notes the TSC aims to consolidate the governance portions of groups into the TSC. We need to keep that in mind for the discussion. 

Ted: One advantage would be direct representation on the TSC. Not sure what other advantages would be to having a terminology product family. Austin: We have people spread out in a number of groups attempting to do methodology and governance at this time; trying to bring that into alignment with the way the rest of the organization is envisioned to operate. UTG has been rolled out and is struggling because it's not getting broader participation. It was formulated around the expectation that experts will participate from a variety of groups, but those groups have no mandate that they're required to participate. Julie: So this is a command and control thing? Austin concurs. 

Wayne: There are several questions being asked. The question for this group is does it make sense to create a terminology product family? Ted notes that having a terminology representative on the TSC doesn't mean we have to have a product family - could appoint an ad hoc. It's just the model we have with the other product families. We're having trouble getting UTG participation, which could also be solved in other ways.

Rob: What definition of product are we working with here? Products typically have a market. What would our market be here? Austin: It spans across the other product families. Rob: Is the product used outside of the organization? Will we be competitive with SNOMED? Austin: That is not the intent. It is different in that its obvious product is THO, whose consumer is the other product families. Wayne: ISO is using it, IHE is  using it, etc.

Julie: We have struggled to define what this terminology product is. The other concerns is closer liaison with TSC - this feels like less liaison. I envisioned that as chair or HTA, I would've had a regular slot on TSC, which hasn't happened. There are different ways to make the liaison better than introducing an entirely new artifact into our structure. Wayne: The product family is one solution - there may be other alternatives as well. 

Ted: The problem that was stated was that we're having trouble with participation and uptake in UTG process. It's only been 2 1/2 weeks since we rolled it out broadly. It has only been a month since we put out a release that people could depend on that wasn't a trial balloon. We just got the terminology built into the IG publisher process. Not sure why we're discussing high level organizational solutions when we just started. This is not an independent entity like SNOMED or LOINC. It's a useful reference foundation for those building HL7 artifacts. The current process is that it's required to be used for those bringing artifacts to ballot or maturity level greater than 3. Don't want to lump together UTG and THO. It's a shared resource across the community. It allows change and enhancements in a controlled manner. Meanwhile HTA has been dealing with non-HL7 published terminology products like CPT, X12, NCPDP, etc. This is very much infrastructure and explicitly supports the FHIR development work going on around the world. When we think about what we need to do to control this, it is infrastructure to support the work in building IGs around the world.

Roel: Still don't see what the advantage is in having a product group at the moment. What we're doing in the different groups like HTA, Vocab, FHIR, is when we have an issue we go out to the other groups to solve it. That's working fine. What we're missing is the HTA having a seat in the TSC. Austin: But they can only represent HTA and not the rest of the product. Can't put an HTA, Vocab, and UTG member on the TSC. Julie: If an HTA and Vocab member couldn't speak to UTG on the TSC, that would be a surprise.

Davera: Agree with Ted. We're really talking about three different things. The product family, Vocab representation on TSC, and issues with UTG. Rather than conflate all of these, it would be helpful to separate them out and deal with them separately. Also agree that we need to work on the problem statement that we're trying to solve. The existing groups seem to be working well together. We should take representation on the TSC for vocab separately.  Proposes creating a seat on the TSC for vocabulary things including HTA, UTG. That role would represent and provide coverage for all three of those things. Austin notes that the product family seats on the TSC is what covers that. 

Carol: my thoughts are in-line with the sentiments stated previously regarding the successful aspects of the existing work by Vocab WG (non-external code systems) and HTA (external only) to define vocabulary related policy and processes for authoring and maintenance within HL7 products, then present to TSC for approval. The gap(s) that may exist and could be filled by TMG (or some other solution), is enforcement of the said policies. Right now, tooling limitations (and sometimes, a sentiment that "it's just not how it works or will be done") and or differing opinions has prevented consistency (and dare I say has caused problems when implementers are giving different guidance from vocab or HTA and a product lead). *given different guidance

Reuben: One of the biggest problems is establishing policy and enforcing it. FMG as a body does a really good job of enforcing FHIR policy. Would be interested to see how well that could work for terminology. We have a gap in enforcement. Julie and Carol agree. Austin: That one of the primary jobs of the management group - to improve the quality of the product through the enforcement of rules. Julie reports we're doing that within the current structures; would we be better at it in a product family? Austin: Vocabulary has a wide set of policies they've documented over the years, but those policies are WG level policies that can't be rigorously enforce on anyone else. In a product family management structure, there is the opportunity to elevate and enfoce those rules. WGs don't have the authority to enforce those. Julie: If TSC had taken those up, it could have worked. Austin: We're re-working the TSC to attempt to do a better job at it. This is an opportunity for terminology to join that table and do that work.

Next call: 12/9 at 3pm Eastern

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