openEHR and Clinical Knowledge Manager

Posted on April 24, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

A reader recently commented about something called openEHR. Maybe I was a little swayed by anything that says open since open source has used the term open so much. The idea of an open EHR sounded really interesting to me. I’m still not sure I completely understand the plan of openEHR, but I was put in contact with a fine lady named Heather Leslie who is working with openEHR on a product called Clinical Knowledge Manager (CKM).

I must admit that when I read the various information on clinical knowledge manager’s attempt to create clinical archetypes I was pretty lost. Maybe I’m just dumb or maybe across the pond (the project started in the UK) they are just using different terminology. Possibly it’s a little of both.

When I got this email about clinical knowledge manager the concept of creating clinical archetypes was new to me. I could be wrong, but reading it now they should have just said their creating standards for clinical data. That’s a concept I can understand and appreciate.

From what I can tell, it seems like CKM is essentially a wiki-like platform for displaying and improving these clinical standards (or archetypes if you prefer). I really think that the power of the crowd is the only way clinical standards are going to be defined, so the idea of a wiki-like website where people can collaborate around clinical standards sounds exciting. My only fear with it all is that if I’m having trouble cutting through much of the technical jargon, I wonder how many doctors will want to participate in this discussion. This seems like a really noble goal, but I can help but question if CKM and openEHR are not keeping EHR interoperability simple.

Time will tell how many EHR choose to adopt the clinical archetypes that openEHR creates. That will be the true measure of how valuable CKM will be to healthcare. I will be interested to see how this rolls out and if they can garner enough EHR interest and participation to make it a viable standard.

The following is an email about participating in clinical knowledge manager and more information on how it works: Read more..