HL7 Australia will be bringing together its global collective of standard bearers in February 2020 with news the next international working group meeting of experts to be held outside North America will be in Sydney.

The successful bid, which was supported by the Australian Digital Health Agency, will see more than 1000 members of the network working to solve one of healthcare’s great challenges – the exchange of health data – converge on the harbour city.

It is the culmination of a series of success for the influential Australian arm of the global not-for-profit.  

“2018 has been a good year for HL7 Australia. Not only are we maturing our organisation and securing a better financial future, we of course still have a lot to do. But the news this week that we have the opportunity to showcase Australia’s commitment to healthcare interoperability on the world stage is the icing on the cake to a great year,” HL7 Australia’s chair Jason Steen told Healthcare IT News Australia.

No more than one HL7 meeting is held outside North America each year. The last time the organisation headed to Australia was in 2011.

“In choosing Sydney for February 2020, the board of HL7 Australia sees this as statement of faith by HL7 international in our ability to deliver a great event,” Steen said.

Excitement is growing within the network as the word spreads.

“I have been contacted by one international affiliate board member due to retire end of 2019, who is now delaying his retirement to attend our event here in Sydney,” he said.

“The enthusiasm of those already reaching out to us prior to official announcement is very encouraging for the board. I have already been contacted by other affiliate chairs congratulating me on the win and committing to come.”

HL7 International has funded all European meetings, although it hasn’t always been able to recoup its costs. HL7 Australia is the only country affiliate to always pay its way, last time via NEHTA and this time with ADHA funding.

“The Agency has already expressed a desire to assist with significant financial support for Sydney 2020.“

HL7 International is supported by more than 1600 members from over 50 countries, including more than 500 corporate members representing healthcare providers, government stakeholders, payers, pharmaceutical companies, vendors and consulting firms.

HL7 Australia is one of the seven founding affiliates of HL7 International and is a powerhouse within the global organisation.

[Read more: HL7 Australia crosses final hurdle to future-proofing constitutional change | Apple announces new API for developers to access its Health Records data]

Earlier this year HL7 Australia – which is the custodian of the HL7 and FHIR standards in Australia – completed a rigorous consultative process to transition to a company limited by guarantee.

It was a significant step forward in the organisation’s quest to change its governance structure and institute constitutional reform as it continues to position itself as the leader in the nation’s moves towards healthcare interoperability.

HL7 Australia’s membership growth has seen large scale vendors including Oracle, InterSystems, DXC Technology and MuleSoft join the community. It also has 15 benefactor members, including the Australia Digital Health Agency, Queensland Health and NSW Health.

Within this year’s changes, a tier one membership level was introduced that carries 12 votes and collects larger entities with multiple subsidiaries – such as Telstra – into a single bloc.

The new arrangements have been met with enthusiasm.

“I have been in direct discussions with current benefactor members, all of whom enthusiastically wish continue to support HL7 and FHIR standards development in Australia through membership, with key members having committed to significantly uplift their financial support for our organisations, through tier one membership.”

The organisation’s efforts towards healthcare interoperability also include its Argonaut project, which is localising the work of the US Argonaut project with the involvement of the international project manager for FHIR, Australian Grahame Grieve, and stakeholders such as Cerner.

To share tips, news or announcements, contact the HITNA editor on lynne.minion@himssmedia.com





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