Skip to main content

Cross-Enterprise Document Sharing

At HC2008 I was introduced to the XDS standard for Cross-Enterprise Document Sharing (not to be confused with several other uses of the XDS acronym). XDS is a profile of the ebXML standards for registries and other related standards to specify a system for sharing medical documents. The important point is that XDS is supported by several major vendors and has been deployed in clinical health systems in several countries. As far as I'm aware, it has not made any impact in the grid world.

The basic XDS standard can be extended to address particular use cases or to add functionality. One popular extension handles DICOM files (a format widely used in medical imaging). Another (XCA) supports federated registries, removing the single point of failure of the basic model.

I think it is worth investigating for other e-Science applications. It may be simpler to leverage this work than to reinvent it. Also, it might be possible to apply our work on e-infrastructure security to the federation scenarios in XCA, which does not have adequate security mechanisms of its own.

Comments

Ren� said…
I agree, IHE XDS is certainly something one should look at - with the caveat that it offers an infrastructure for the exchange of documents.

Not all of the data exchange requirements are covered by documents, some are better covered by messages. See this whitepaper about the distinction between the two - at least how this distincion is understood within the HL7 community.

The documents shared in the context of XDS mostly use HL7's Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) standard. That standard is also worth a look at..

-Rene

Popular posts from this blog

Presentation: Putting IT all together

This is a presentation I gave to an audience of University staff: 

In this seminar, I invite you to consider what the University’s online services would be like, if we worked together to design them from the perspective of the student or member of staff who will use them, instead of designing them around the organisational units that provide them. I’ll start with how the services might appear to that student or member of staff, then work back from there to show what this implies for how we work, how we manage our data, and how we integrate our IT systems. It might even lead to changes in our organisational structure.

Our online services make a vital and valued contribution to the work of our students and staff. I argue that with better integration, more consistent user interfaces, and shared data, this contribution could be significantly enhanced.

This practice is called “Enterprise Architecture”. I’ll describe how it consults multiple organisational units and defines a framework …

Service Excellence, Digital Transformation and Enterprise Architecture

Our University Secretary has sponsored a major review of the University’s administrative processes, coining the banner “Service Excellence”.  The aim is to look at the services we provide to staff and students with a fresh eye, making them more effective, more efficient, and focussed on the user rather than administrative convenience.

Our CIO is sponsoring a similar programme called “Digital Transformation”. This will replace old paper-based processes, starting with the question of what would processes look like if we designed them afresh for the modern connected world.  The aim is to make processes that are more focussed on the user and hence more effective and efficient.

Both of these ambitious programmes will need an effective enterprise architecture, if they are to succeed.  Digital Transformation is intrinsically about using opportunities provided by new technology to improve services and, as such, it requires effective technology services to make data available when needed, to pro…

Not so simple...

A common approach to explaining the benefits of Enterprise Architecture is to draw two diagrams: one that shows a complicated mess of interconnections, and one that shows a nicely layered set of blocks. Something like this one, which came from some consultants:


I've never felt entirely happy with this approach.  Yes, we do want to remove as much of the needless complexity and ad-hoc design that litters the existing architecture.  Yes, we do want to simplify the architecture and make it more consistent and intelligible.  But the simplicity of the block diagram shown here is unobtainable in the vast majority of real enterprises.  We have a mixture of in-house development and different third-party systems, some hosted in-house, some on cloud infrastructure and some accessed as software-as-a-service.  For all the talk of standards, vendors use different authentication systems, different integration systems, and different user interfaces.

So the simple block diagram is, basically, a l…