OASIS Members Approve Emergency Data Exchange Standards for Resource Messaging and Hospital Availability

AtHoc, EDS, ESI Acquisition, Sandia National Laboratories, U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admistration (NOAA), Warning Systems Inc. (WSI), and Others Collaborate to Facilitate Emergency Communication

Boston, MA, USA; 8 January 2009 — OASIS, the international open standards consortium, today announced that its members have approved the Emergency Data Exchange Language Resource Messaging (EDXL-RM) 1.0 and the EDXL Hospital AVailability Exchange (HAVE) 1.0 specifications as OASIS Standards, a status that signifies the highest level of ratification. EDXL-RM describes a suite of standard messages for sharing data among information systems that coordinate requests for emergency equipment, supplies, and people. HAVE specifies an XML document format that allows a hospital's status, services, and resources (including bed capacity, emergency department status, and available service coverage) to be communicated. Both standards were developed through an open process by the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee.

"Both EDXL-HAVE and EDXL-RM represent significant achievements in messaging standards development," said FEMA DM Program Manager Sarah Hyder. "Implementation of these standards not only enhances emergency management, but also improves the speed and quality of response activities. Once in the hands of emergency responders and managers, data messaging standards such as HAVE and RM will tremendously improve the exchange of information in real time."

"Specific, standardized messages are critical for coordinating emergency response--particularly when more than one profession or governmental jurisdiction is involved," noted Elysa Jones of Warning Systems Inc (WSI), chair of the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee. "EDXL-RM and HAVE make it possible for critical information about life saving resources to be shared across local, state, tribal, national and non-governmental organizations to support a coordinated response to an emergency."

"It is vital that practitioners across all levels of government continue to partner with industry in the development and use of messaging standards that improve data communications during emergency response operations," said Dr. David Boyd, director of the Command, Control and Interoperability Division (CID) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/ Science and Technology Directorate. "We are committed to working with standards development organizations, including OASIS, to integrate EDXL data messaging standards into the resources that emergency responders rely upon to keep the Nation safe."

EDXL-RM specifies a document format that allows the communication of information about resources, such as requests for obtaining resources, responses to these requests by potential suppliers, and information on the status and location of resources.

HAVE allows emergency dispatchers and managers to make sound logistics decisions on where to route victims based on accurate hospital bed availability, status, services, and capacity data. Although some hospitals currently use proprietary technology to publish this kind of information, only those parties with the same systems can access their data.

"Isolated pockets of communication are simply not sufficient for large-scale emergencies," said Laurent Liscia, executive director of OASIS. "By presenting data in a standardized format, HAVE removes this barrier, enabling all parties involved in emergency response (other hospitals, EOCs, 9-1-1 centers, EMS responders, etc.) to view the information they need."

In accordance with eligibility requirements for all OASIS Standards, successful use of EDXL-RM was verified by NICTA, NuParadigm, and OSS Nokalva; HAVE was verified by ESI, Evolution Technologies, and NuParadigm. Both standards were developed under the Royalty-Free on RAND mode of the OASIS Intellectual Property Rights Policy.

Participation in the Emergency Management Technical Committee remains open to all companies, non-profit groups, government agencies, academic institutions, and individuals. Archives of the work are publicly accessible, and OASIS offers a mechanism for public comment.

Support for EDXL-RM and EDXL-HAVE

"The new EDXL-RM and EDXL-HAVE standards provide the ability to accurately communicate critical emergency information regarding equipment, supplies and personnel. The industry as a whole has made great progress in enabling emergency collaboration and interoperability, promoted significantly by the work accomplished through OASIS. By creating standards with these higher levels of information, collaborating agencies can dramatically improve the effectiveness of their emergency responses," said Aviv Siegel, CTO, AtHoc.

U.S. National Integration Center's Incident Management Systems Integration Division
"These latest additions to the EDXL suite of standards should help increase the interoperability of incident communications. We've been actively participating in their development. This includes developing the requirements in collaboration with practitioners, as well as participating in the technical standards committee."

"The world's recent experiences in the aftermath of hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods clearly demonstrate how vital the standardization and adoption of EDXL-RM and EDXL-HAVE are. These new OASIS Standards literally have the potential to save lives on a tremendous scale. WSI is proud to play a part in this work, having provided leadership to the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee since this effort began. Our experience integrating emergency alert systems is highly dependent on open data standards, especially where secure and reliable exchange of such information is mission critical," said Patrick J. Gannon, President & COO, WSI.

Additional information:

OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee

About OASIS:
OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) drives the development, convergence, and adoption of open standards for the global information society. A not-for-profit consortium, OASIS advances standards for SOA, security, Web services, documents, e-commerce, government and law, localisation, supply chains, XML processing, and other areas of need identified by its members. OASIS open standards offer the potential to lower cost, stimulate innovation, grow global markets, and protect the right of free choice of technology. The consortium has more than 5,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries. http://www.oasis-open.org

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