SCATA Newsletters

SCATA Members Newsletter November 2019

Dear Colleague

With Halloween and Guy Fawkes now behind us, we enter the somewhat frantic period leading up to the festive break. Between now and then I hope to have a firm date, venue and programme for the ASM in May. Having considered a 2-day London event either preceded or followed by a #gashack, unfortunately the RCoA were unable to give us the same deal as last time in this FY. I'm now looking at Queen's University in Belfast 1st-2nd June for next year's ASM. I think this is a good time to do a "state of the nation" for AIMS in the UK as I get the sense that the market is picking up, but the products being deployed are still falling well short of what we need. As a counter-point to that, I'd like to use Day 2 to bring together some domain experts from the world of clinical modelling, take a look at what's happening in parts of the EU (especially Scandinavia) and how they are abandoning the "megasuite" approach to building EHRs in favour of a more open ecosystem. There will be the usual free paper sessions but if you'd like to contribute to the programme, please get in touch.

On the theme of modelling, long-time SCATA member Martin Hurrell continues to work on the Domain Analysis Model (DAM) for anesthesia, alongside our US colleagues in the International HL7-FHIR Anesthesia Working Group. The group have been approached by the ASA Committee on Electronic Media and Information Technology (EMIT), interested in developing and promoting data standards and interoperability within anesthesiology. Martin has attempted to summarise the fairly complex bits of work that the group are doing as follows:

"Right now, we're working to complete a DAM (Domain Analysis Model) for the Intra-Procedural phase of anesthesia (our group previously created a similar project for pre-assessment). This project aims to provide an overview of the common paths through the anesthetic episode and to provide more detailed logical and behavioral models for specific activities e.g. airway management, line placements, respiratory support, general and regional anesthetic techniques etc. These, in turn, reach down to include descriptions of adjunctive techniques e.g. techniques for guidance during device insertion and verification of device position, positioning of the patient and individual body parts, and so on. Our group has, for a number of years, worked closely with the specialist anesthesia terminology development group APSF-DDTF/IOTA whose work is now continued and maintained by the IHTSDO Anesthesia CRG. We are fortunate to have leaders of that group, Patrick McCormick, Andrew Norton, and Andrew Marchant, as helpers and advisors in integrating specialist anesthesia terms (SNOMED CT)  with elements in the model. There are roughly 5,000 terms at the current time. We also have a close relationship with SCATA (the UK Society for Computing and Technology in Anaesthesia) and its Chairman, Grant Forrest is a contributor to our work (Andrew Norton who has worked for many years with both the HL7 Anesthesia Working Group and is one of the leaders of the IHTSDO Anesthesia CRG is SCATA's Honorary President). Norman Jones and Steven Dain, who are closely involved with the development of ISO19223 (now published) are collaborating on the ventilation model in the DAM.  

The DAM does not aim to be an HL7 Implementation Guide (IG) - this is normally the next stage following a successful ballot of a DAM. An IG would target the electronic anesthesia record, based on the DAM, but more restricted in terms of complexity and content. We have previously looked at a CDA rendering of this and a project is currently with the HL7 Health Care Devices Working Group but is currently on hold. We might also look to define a model for both messaging and persistent documentation based on FHIR. Already, some of the object models in the DAM are somewhat aligned with FHIR resources. But this is for the future.

I should mention that we are in the process of merging the HL7 Anesthesia Working Group with the Healthcare Devices Working Group and this should be completed in the first half of next year. Also, Ellen Torres, is now enjoying retirement after many years of outstanding contributions to our work. I'll forward this email to her as she may wish to join any call we have.  I'd be happy to schedule a webcon to walk through the DAM and to try to answer any questions you have. If we target the last week of this month that may give time to co-ordinate with others, mentioned above, so that we can have the benefit of their expertise in any discussions. Please let me know if this is something you'd like to do."

Martin gave a short presentation of this work at our Open Standards Working Group meeting in Belfast in February, If you'd like to contribute to the OSWG, please feel free to join our Slack workspace.

SCATA is running a one-day OSWG meeting at the AAGBI on Monday 17th February 2020. Working Group meetings are free to attend but places are limited to 10 as we are in the Ellis Room. Please contact me if you'd like to attend.

Finally, I've updated the blog post about BSI IST/35 Portfolio IV Health Informatics, Device interoperability. I'll start a separate channel in the Slack workspace to keep interested parties updated on developments in this, and any other relevant commitees from the portfolio.

Kind Regards


Dr Grant Forrest

SCATA Chairman




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