Managing scope is a key part of delivering a successful project - and this is particularly true when using information standards in healthcare projects. The challenge is that the standards are designed to meet a wide range of requirements, and the project's success will be measured against a specific set of local requirements.
TrafficLight CDA is a way to specify more.
The current CDA specification implies that anything that is not Green or explicitly excluded is White and may be safely ignored. This proposal builds on existing conformance rules that are described in the HL7 core principles and in the conformance documentation - and introduces a delightful visual metaphor to help with understanding the different conformance requirements.
Adoption of TrafficLight specifications for how CDA documents are handled will make it easier for suppliers and those testing systems to know what they have to do - and more importantly will ensure that users can clearly understand what will happen when they share a document.
This can be done is a very light-weight way -- saying that anything that is not Green is White (open templates) or saying that anything that is not Green is Red (closed templates). In practice using the TrafficLights will help projects retain flexibility in an affordable way - enabling explicit distributed evolution of the document set that is supported within a configuration management framework - but that is for another post...
By Charlie McCay
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