Tag: collaboration

The OpenHIE community has expressed an interest in using a more collaborative platform to share knowledge and network. After looking at different tools we’ve chosen Discourse and been working to stand up a customized version of the platform to meet our community’s needs.

Some of you may be aware (or already be using Discourse – https://discourse.ohie.org) but for those who are not familiar with the platform here is a little taste of what it can do for our community.

The six big features that Discourse offers over Google Groups are…

  • Ability to build sub-forums to enable more focused discussions.(e.g., architecture questions, releases, implementation help) where interested parties
    can talk in detail without the entire community being notified.
  • Ability to reduce duplicate posts by showing related questions, stickied posts, etc.
  • Ability to add features like FAQ, voting for right answers, @mentioning relevant parties, analytics on activity.
  • Ability to keep engaging the community by sending out weekly emails with most active discussions.
  • Ability to highlight contributors (e.g., badges for most answers to questions, profiles with links to business) so we can recognize individuals.>who have been major participants in conversations and helped others along the way.
  • Ability for folks to keep using Discourse as a plain old mailing list.

To see another instance of Discourse in action, check out https://talk.openmrs.org/categories and see how OpenMRS is using it to bring developers, implementers, and users together.

To see how OpenHIE’s new community site is set up, check out https://discourse.ohie.org and start testing out the new categories. We want to hear your feedback on how you think the site looks so far so under the “Site Feedback” category please post questions about the site, its organization, how it’s working for you and how it could be improved.

The plan is to put the current OpenHIE mailing lists in read-only mode over the next few weeks and as you will see old posts from the various mailing lists have already been moved to a “Legacy” category so you can claim/own your old posts and we can start recognizing major contributors immediately!

The aim is to migrate to https://discourse.ohie.org completely by mid December, with the official closing of mailing lists and launch of the new site on December 13th.

As mentioned above any feedback or questions can be posted on Discourse under the “Site Feedback” category. If there are any concerns or issues with your log in please email support@ohie.org.

A common question we get is: “What is the OpenHIE initiative about?”  The short answer would be that OpenHIE is about helping resource-constrained environments leverage their electronic health information by standardizing it.  But it’s more involved than that… Free-for-commercial-use-crop

We’re about problem solving

  • Different environments have real and specific needs when it comes to supporting efficient health provision.  Talking through these needs with experts in country allows our community to aid in providing suitable solutions to satisfy the needs.   We’re less about theoretical interoperability, and more concerned with applied interoperability in real health care settings.

We’re about country ownership

  • It is vital that a country not only provide guidance on the design of their interoperability infrastructure but also manages the support of the exchange locally. Those on the ground who see and understand the demands of their healthcare system are the ones who can truly navigate towards real value.  Therefore, our process is about a deeper (and perhaps more deliberate) engagement with individuals who live within countries from the onset, and empowering those communities to champion the cause.

We’re about community

  • Because we’re so engaged with building local capacity and knowhow around large scale interoperability, we find that community-based models of engagement are the most effective way to work.  Our community model develops a virtual online and real-time process for members to network and collaborate on a global scale so we can all work more effectively with the best and the brightest.

We’re about technical excellence

  • Supporting resource-constrained environments doesn’t somehow mean that sacrifices need to be made in quality.  We constantly strive to find the right balance between locally sustained, easily maintained and richly functional technical approaches.  Bringing experts together to share their knowledge enhances the design of high quality adaptable processes and technologies for the most challenging environments.

We’re about standards

  • Serving as active partners with those who create, maintain, and refine open health information standards specifications allows us to design architectures for healthcare data sharing on a global scale.  This also supports plug-and-play interoperability with many kinds of newly evolving technologies over time.

So what’s our approach? OpenHIE is a community of communities.  We have organized various projects involved in standardizing health information into a common, scalable approach that has immediate pragmatic value for a whole host of real world health use cases.  We’ve underpinned this technical approach with a series of experienced implementers of large scale interoperability projects, so that as countries come to our community with expressed needs, we can personalize an engagement strategy that simultaneously meets their immediate needs and further refines the technology and standards support for subsequent members of the community.

Want to learn more?  Do you think we can support your country or project? Fill out our get involved page, we welcome you to to join our community!