Health information technology standards and guidelines may have something to learn from Internet practices.
Two weeks ago, I wrote about a strawman for embracing internet-based standards to support the provider directory services needed by health information exchanges.
Wes Rishel wrote a blog post about a related approach to creating provider directories and exchange certificates using microformats embedded in web pages that are protected by Extended Validation Certificates to provide assurance that the information is trustworthy.
As we prepare for the next HIT standards committee meeting, many people are thinking about the best approach for building an industry-wide provider-directory capability using simple web standards. A guiding principle of the HIT Standards Committee is to “Keep it simple; think big, but start small; recommend standards as minimal as possible to support the business goal and then build as you go” . This eliminates most complex implementation guides based on assembling esoteric, seldomly implemented, non-internet friendly standards.
The committee will find use of generalized internet standards such as DNS and simple XML tagging structures such as microformats very appealing.
Is there a combination of the approach I suggested on my blog and the approach suggested by Wes that works?
I think so.