CIMI & beyond…

The Clinical Information Modelling Initiative (#CIMI) is currently meeting in London. It comprises a significant group of healthcare IT stakeholders and was formed some months ago as an initiative by Dr Stan Huff. After a number of face to face meetings and email list exchanges, the intent is that at the end of this 3 day meeting there will be an agreed decision on a common clinical content modelling formalism/methodology for our Electronic Health Records.

For background, from Sam Heard’s email to the openEHR email list on November 2, 2011:

The main topic I want to address is the international initiative to develop a standardised clinical modelling methodology. This has some IHTSDO secretarial support and is led by Dr Stan Huff of Intermountain Healthcare, a former HL7 Chairperson and co-founder of LOINC, who has been advocating a model-based approach for many years. The current approach at Intermountain has been influenced by openEHR and uses a two-level modelling approach. Stan has established a leadership group through trust and reputation, which includes a variety of agencies who have been working in the area and national eHealth programs or major initiatives who are interested in consuming the models. It has grown out of an HL7 Fresh Look initiative and is currently known as the Clinical Information Modelling Initiative (CIMI).

The group has committed to determining a single formalism for clinical modelling and ADL and openEHR are on the list of alternatives which is as follows:

  • Archetype Object Model/ADL 1.5 openEHR
  • CEN/ISO 13606 AOM ADL 1.4
  • UML 2.x + OCL + healthcare extensions
  • OWL 2.0 + healthcare profiles and extensions
  • MIF 2 + tools HL7 RIM – static model designer

Proponents of the five different approaches have been presenting to members of the group, who have a variety of experience in these matters. Fourteen organisations will cast a vote on the formalism to use including openEHR, Singapore, UK NHS, Results 4 Care, HL7, Canada Infoway, 13606 Association, Tolven, CDISC, GE/Intermountain, US Departments, CDISC, SMArt and Mitre.

At the preliminary vote, held recently on November 20, the two most popular options were openEHR ADL 1.5 and UML.

Today CIMI will vote on a proposal for either ADL 1.5 or UML to be adopted as the initial common formalism for use, and determine a road map for coordinated development of semantically interoperable clinical models into the future. The potential impact of this is huge and exciting. It could be a disruptive change in health IT.

We hold our collective breath!

4 thoughts on “CIMI & beyond…

  1. This sounds like a great step forward. One thing that seems clear is that there is a need to build in attributes that would allow for the flexibility in how data is managed and displayed. There seem to be two camps, the lumpers and the splitters. Some want a few high level concepts and others want all the details to be recorded as structured code data. Systems should be designed to accommodate both approaches because there is value in both approaches.

    • openEHR ADL 1.5 has been agreed as the prime methodology for clinical modeling at the CIMI meeting. The group is developing a formal public statement that will provide all the details, so I don’t want to preempt that. I will post a copy of the statement as soon as it is available.

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