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Re: Comment to ONC recommending RDF to help "standardize the standards"

From: Grahame Grieve <grahame@healthintersections.com.au>
Date: Sat, 2 May 2015 08:05:47 +1000
Message-ID: <CAG47hGaCOD_MrLS667oLQhJC03BikB11jtQ-DVKZVyZ1yEQ9NQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Cc: "its@lists.hl7.org" <its@lists.hl7.org>, w3c semweb HCLS <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
HI David

I cannot let this go by without some comment.

Therefore implementers are required to create their own workarounds to
> bridge these standards and overcome the incompatibilities. However, because
> implementers use different approaches, data still lacks interoperability
> between implementers.
>

you make it sound as though the standards are the problem, rather than a
symptom of the problem. Even if all the standards completely agreed,
implementers would still have to do this. And it will be a long time before
we can get consistent standards across the whole stack - some levels we
haven't even started to have discussions about


> The ONC should add a recommendation for a universal information
> representation that can accurately capture the meaning of any healthcare
> information, spanning all ONC-mandated standards, regardless of the the
> data formats, data models,  or vocabularies prescribed by those standards.
>

we've already had one of these, and we know what the outcome is - the
universal representation steadily becomes it's own goal, more important
than the outcomes that are sought.


> Suggestion 2: Recommend RDF as the best available universal information
> representation
>

This completely misses the point; for the kind of disagreement that your
comments seek to address, RDF is just a format that has few semantics (and
the ones it has work as much against the goals as for them). I'm not
against getting common RDF representations for standards (obviously), but
it's just moving the deck chairs around: it won't make any difference at
any level that matters.

Grahame
Received on Friday, 1 May 2015 22:06:15 UTC

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