There is an excellent post – Talking to DC – by Adam Bosworth, highlighting his testimony to the HIT Standards Committee. Adam has been involved in several successful standards, so he offers his lessons learned as the new, new world of healthcare data exchanges and standards unrolls in the next several years.
Read the post, as it is worth the time. To entice you, outlined below are the seven key points discussed by Adam.
- Keep the standard as simple and stupid as possible.
- The data being exchanged should be human readable and easy to understand.
- Standards work best when they are focused.
- Standards should have precise encodings.
- Always have real implementations that are actually being used as part of design of any standard.
- Put in hysteresis for the unexpected.
- Make the spec itself free, public on the web, and include lots of simple examples on the web site.
My favorite quote in this healthcare standards post is:
“Don’t build an 18 wheeler to drive a city block.”
This concept seems to be often ignored in the world of healthcare standards.