We need the domain experts!

It certainly helps to be a clinician, although recent work on development of clinical content specifications for a Hearing Health application has taken me further into modelling for the range of audiometry, 226Hz and high frequency tympanometry, audiology speech testing, and hearing screening than I’d ever imagined. Modelling the raw data capture (or downloaded from devices) for these tests is really quite simple, but enabling the complexity of different states, events and protocols that reflect audiological practice has been much more complex than I anticipated.

I attempted to model these some years ago, based on my (obviously rather poor) research on the web at the time. Take a look at my meagre effort to build the original archetype for Audiogram Result (as built by a GP who has never performed an audiogram).

Audiogram Result Mindmap

Audiogram Result Mindmap

See the full detail here – http://www.openehr.org/ckm/#showArchetype_1013.1.44_1

And the most recent archetype as designed and verified by practising grassroots Audiologists… I didn’t even get the name of the concept correct!

Audiometry Result Mindmap

Audiometry Result Mindmap

See the full detail here – http://dcm.nehta.org.au/ckm/#showArchetype_1013.1.1097

Identifying domain experts for the development and then collaboration on verification/validation of each type of archetype/template is absolutely critical for success.

2 thoughts on “We need the domain experts!

  1. Heather: I have access to many domain experts as I work in a School of Medicine and and a very large Public Hospital. Free Time for theses very busy people and Funding for their time is the issue. I liked your previous post that makes it possible via videoconferencing technologies to work the modelling process.
    Do you believe some kind of funding is achievable?

    • Hi Domingo,

      Funding is certainly critical from a coordinating/editorial point of view. And the NEHTA CKM has been able to make progress because there has been project-driven funding for this purpose.

      The funding for experts is interesting and I’m not sure which side of the fence I sit on yet. Certainly with some of the work we’ve done, the clinicians/experts are employees of the jurisdiction and so participate because they are passionate AND because it is part of their job – it seems to work quite well with those who do actually participate. I think this is largely because they participate because they want to and are interested.

      There was some also attempt to fund clinicians at one point, on a $ per review basis. I’m not sure if it ever commenced on that basis. I do recall some conversations where the clinicians became quite adamant that they wouldn’t participate unless they were funded, which of course is not unreasonable in a funded project, BUT to some degree I wonder if this selects for the wrong type of, or in appropriate mindset in, a reviewer for our purposes.

      I’m still blown away by the generosity of reviewers who have participated within the openEHR CKM freely and so generously. I believe that it is the clinician’s reason for engaging that will determine useful input to the review. $$ does not necessarily equate to useful input or willing knowledge exchange.

      There is no current source of funding available for any of this work from the openEHR Foundation. I had wondered about toying with offering some kind of microfunding to support archetype Editorial work – ie funders contribute relatively small amount of money for a particular archetype review, or group of archetypes – to get some progress happening. It could get very messy funding some, but not all, reviewers in the open source community environment.

      What do you think?

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