We are having a fabulous conference. The new Individual Home module is a big hit. Everyone loves it! It seems to be the way to the future. We are getting loads of new ideas every day. Today was the 2nd day at the conference.
Last night we had an excellent Hibachi dinner. This is the first Japanese food I could eat. Got a Maki roll too, not too bad.
To make the conference even more exciting, our fate decided that there would be a fire alarm and everyone was evacuated out, to the below freezing weather! I had my lunch plate on my hands! Turned out it was a false alarm, due to some water pipe breaking somewhere in the hotel.
Recently we have become involved with the e-Governance initiative run by the “Access 2 Information Programme” (A2I) under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in Bangladesh. At this stage, the PMO is trying to come up with a “National e-Governance Architecture”, or NEA in short. All departments (ministries) in Bangladesh have an IT infrastructure and internal services. The NEA will enable all departments to interact with one another enabling the government to provide integrated, effective, timely and yet low cost services to the people of the country.
We will bring with us our long experience in building complex systems with Java, our pool of expertise in Enterprise technologies, our know-how in building large and highly scalable databases and skills in working with government departments.
This project has the potential to revolutionize government services in the country. We are excited to be a part of it and helping the government of Bangladesh fulfill the dreams of its people.
Therap has been actively helping BASIS (Bangladesh Association of Software & Information Services) in their “Code Warriors’ Challenge” project. Atiq, Nazrul and I are judges and problem setters in the Java Track of the Challenge. Atiq has been doing a fantastic job of co-ordinating our activities with BASIS. He will also be a judge in the final round of the challenge. Nazrul has setup a beautiful scenario showcasing how e-Governance can help the country face the challenges of the 21st century. It also aligns with the “Digital Bangladesh” vision of the government.
The challenge had three rounds. The first round was an MCQ test to shorten the list of candidates for the challenge. The 2nd round was a simplified real life project. The 3rd and final round will be on the 4th of February. It’s a day long program within SoftExpo 2011. Contestants would have to implement simplified services for he e-Governance showcase.
There are two huge exhibition stalls in the HIMSS10, each one is about 4 times the size of a football field. There are vendors of all kinds here. From vendors that sell wall mounting equipment for hospitals to the gigantic healthcare IT companies like Epic and McKesson.
The stalls did everything they could to attract visitors. One vendor was doing a rope magic show, to make their sales pitch:
Even Cisco was doing a magic show:
The shows were pretty interesting. It gave a breath of life in the mid of seriousness.
Sazzad and I are back in the states to attend the annual HIMSS conference, HIMSS10. Richard is with us too. For those who have not heard of HIMSS, it stands of Healthcare Information Management Society (http://www.himss.org). It’s the largest membership organization for healthcare IT vendors in the world. This time, the conference is running in the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
This conference is huge. There are tens of thousands of attendees. There are hundreds of vendors showing off their latest and greatest products, tools and technologies. The conference center itself is huge, with three buildings. Walking from one end to the other takes 10 minutes!
The first day started with opening remarks by Barry Chaiken, President of HIMSS and a keynote session by Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint Nextel Corporation. The session was mostly on 4G networks and how it can change the face of Healthcare.
After that I attended a good session on EHR Monitoring for Compliance, Security and Privacy and then another session on an automated approach for monitoring access to clinical applications. My last session for the day was on ARRA breach notification.
In the latter half of the day, we roamed around the exhibit booths. There are two booths, each one is probably larger than a football field.
After finishing the HL7 Work Group Meeting in Phoenix, we had the Friday and Saturday free for ourselves. The Grand Canyon is only 5 hours drive away from Phoenix. We all wanted to visit the Grand Canyon. But luck was not on our side. Arizona is supposed to be dry at this time. But somehow we managed to bring the rain and storm from Bangladesh to Arizona!
The nearest city to the Grand Canyon from this side is Sedona, then Flagstaff. The weather forecast said it will snow in these places on Friday and Saturday. It will be sunny the day we leave, Sunday! How bad can ones luck be?
Anyway, we decided to make he best use of our time by visiting Sedona. Our hotel was in a village near Sedona, named Oak Creek. We fell in love with the place the moment we came. The view is amazing! The red rocks are awesomely beautiful.
The next day we went on a ride with the Pink Jeep Tours company. They are the most famous over here. The jeep ride was better than a roller coaster. I wouldn’t have believed a car could climb link this if I hadn’t seen it myself.
The jeep climbed over rocks like a spider crawling over a pillow.
The view from the rocks was an out of the world experience! No words can be adequate such a beauty.
Yesterday was our last day at the HL7 Work Group Meeting in Phoenix. After wrapping up for the day, went to Arizona Mills, the largest shopping mall in Arizona. We didn’t go there for shopping, we went to see Avatar in 3D IMAX. Luckily we bought the tickets online before heading there. By the time we got there, the theater was sold out! This IMAX theater is the largest one in Arizona with a 6 story high screen. The movie was simply AWESOME! It took my breath away! The 3D effect was so engrossing, I could feel I was in the movies world. The flying scenes were spectacular. If I had time in hand, I would have watched it again.
Advice to people who haven’t watched it yet, don’t miss it! And be sure to watch it in 3D IMAX.
Todays education sessions was the best ones we got so far in the HL7 Work Group Meeting at Phoenix. Considering the importance of Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) and the Continuity of Care Document (CCD), all three of us attended the morning session on CDA and the evening session on CCD.
CDA is the standard format for all clinical documents in HL7. The CCD is a particular type of CDA document. It contains clinical, demographic and administrative data for a patient. It is actually the implementation of another standard, CCR, made ASTM. Formally, it is the CDA implementation of the CCR.
CDA and CCD are extremely important for Therap as we have started a project to interface with HIEs. In particular, we are working with the eHealthConnecticut project that is in the process of building a regional HIE (Health Information Exchange) in collaboration with the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS).
Yesterday Asif and Sazzad met an old guy at the HL7 Work Group Meeting in Phoenix, AZ. Sazzad, with his usual manner advertised all he could about Therap. Asif chatted with him. The guy was old and lovable. And he was very friendly.
Today Asif and Sazzad slept over and missed the general meeting. During lunch, I found Asif doing small chit chat with the old guy over lunch. After lunch, I asked Asif, do you know who you were talking to? He said: yeah, a professor, nice guy. I said, yeah, he is a professor alright, he also happens to be the most respectable person in the whole of HL7. He was the Chairman of the board 3 times in the past. He currently holds the Vice Chair position. In todays general meeting, he was given a standing ovation. He was one of the founders of HL7! He was none other than William Edward Hammond, PhD.
Their jaws dropped to the floor
Each day in the conference starts with a “general meeting” at 8:00. It also doubles as the breakfast time. The Chairman of the Board of Directors of HL7, Robert Dolin MD, made his report today. One memorable event in todays general meeting was bidding farewell to one of the most senior members of the HL7 board, W Edward Hammond PhD. He was previously elected Chair for 3 times!
Following is a few pictures of yesterdays general meeting. The best part of it was a report by the CTO, John Quinn.
I will finish off this article with a nice picture I took at the Desert Botanical Garden a few days ago.