It seems as though implementation of the larger standard is still seen as a herculean task, requiring not just a rework of HL7 2.X import/export modules but also a potential overhaul of applications’ underlying database schema and object model. But the Structured Documents committee (SDTC) has done a nice job of achieving one of its primary design principles concerning HL7 CDA – minimizing technical barriers to implementation. That mantra has no doubt helped the SDTC create a standard that comprises the ‘piece’ of HL7 V3 that American vendors are willing to incorporate in the not-so-distant future.
Given the lack of a national mandate to move to HL7 Standard V3 that exists in other countries, as well as the lack of demand for V3 in the US marketplace, CDA could be the much needed beachhead for the standard in this country. As more and more vendors implement CDA and get a small taste of the V3 methodology and associated benefits, the more adventurous (and deep-pocketed) software providers will tip-toe further into the newer HL7 standard.
Until then, the burning question remains: which comes first – provider demand for or vendor support of V3?