OASIS International Health Continuum (IHC) TC

The original Call For Participation for this TC may be found at http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/tc-announce/200407/msg00001.html

The charter for this TC is as follows.

Name of the TC

OASIS International Health Continuum (IHC) Technical Committee

Statement of Purpose

Healthcare mistakes claim numerous lives around the world every year, including up to 100,000 in the United States alone. Costs have increased globally at double digit rates over the last three years. While there are many standards organizations that work to standardize transactions in the healthcare "vertical" space (e.g. clinical, administrative, pharmaceutical, supplies and devices, insurance, government etc.) there is little attention being paid to the continuum of health; defined for our purposes as the "horizontal" standards allowing all related verticals to interoperate through the use of web services tools and technologies.

As a secondary goal, competing international standards (in the verticals) are beginning to appear. This is evident in the standards by CEN and HL7 in the Electronic Health Record (EHR). While each is a worthy effort, international healthcare standards may diverge toward regional preferences. A goal of the committee will be to promote international healthcare standards interoperability regardless of geographic location. This is particularly important to OASIS membership since many are global organizations who will not want standards to be regional or "national."

Accordingly, the purpose of the new OASIS International Health Continuum TC will be as follows:

  • to provide a forum for companies on the Healthcare continuum internationally to voice their needs and requirements with respect to XML and Web Services based standards which can be handed off to relevant OASIS TCs (if they exist) or cause the formation of TCs for needs that are not currently being addressed.
  • to provide a mechanism for the creation of best practice documents relative to the adoption of OASIS specs/standards within Healthcare systems internationally and across vertical standards organizations
  • to promote the adoption of OASIS specs/standards within Healthcare (including all bi-directional forms: P2G, P2B, P2C, P2P), which could include the creation of implementation-oriented pilot projects to involve software vendors and participating healthcare professionals to demonstrate the use of OASIS specs/standards.
  • to work with other OASIS channels (e.g. XML.org for schema registry and/or information portal, e-Gov, EPR - Electronic processes), act as a clearinghouse of information related to applicable specs/standards as well as activities and projects being conducted in Healthcare around the adoption of XML-based systems and standards.

Because of the very wide range of topics encompassed by the term "e-Health" it is expected that several sub-committees of the TC will be formed to address specific issues. These subcommittees might include (but not be limited to) "healthcare banking", "healthcare networks", "healthcare ontologies", "population health evaluations", "health care process", and "health epidemiology alert and response" just to name a few.

Scope of work

The scope of the committee's work will include the use of OASIS and other standards (both healthcare and non-healthcare related) for interoperability utilizing web services as practical. For example, there is a clear use case for many of the HL7 standards which are clearly healthcare related, but there are also compelling reasons to adopt and recommend RosettaNet PIPs for the standardization of administrative, and potentially clinical, processes.

The proposers do not anticipate the development of standards in the committee unless it becomes clear that there are deficiencies in the existing vertical standards or clear voids in required interoperability across the horizontal interoperability channels. Therefore, the initial scope of the TC is only to assess the state of Web Services within the healthcare industry, gather requirements for work needed to be done, and only in exceptional cases develop standards.

List of Deliverables

First 12 months

  • Create liaisons with each of the major health continuum standards organizations
  • Produce a healthcare interoperability report including:
    • Process map of healthcare processes (internal and external)
    • List and discussion of existing standards for addressing the processes
    • Gap analysis
    • Recommendations to fill gaps, including the formation of new TCs at OASIS, and guidance to existing OASIS TCs or to other organizations

Ongoing TC work

  • Monitoring and promotion of healthcare interoperability
  • Promotion of OASIS Standards within
    • Governments
    • Companies
    • Vendors
    • Health continuum members identified in the process map
  • Determine need for technical work, and develop proposals for new OASIS TCs to develop specifications to fill gaps
  • Continue liaison activities

The TC will know that its work is completed when there are complete and standard solutions for healthcare interoperability.


The audience of the TC work is anticipated to be:

  • "Upstream/Downstream" focused employees of all companies in the health continuum.
  • IT vendors desirous of interoperability along the continuum.
  • IT vendors presently focused on a vertical market, desirous of expanding their focus.
  • Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) attempting to coordinate their efforts with strategic partners outside their immediate vertical.
  • Government entities focused on improving the performance of the entire health continuum.