V3DT conference call notes for Mon, Aug 2, 1999.

The HL7 version 3 data type task group has had its twentysixth conference call on Monday, August 2, 1999, 4:30 PM EST. EST.

Attendees were:

Agenda items were:

  1. Finding the best time for subsequent conference calls.
  2. Scheduling the important issues.
  3. Prioritizing and even closing some open issues.

Finding the best time for subsequent conference calls

It turns out to be difficult. We are now at Monday 10 AM EST (7 AM PST!) on Mondays as kind of a last resort. We worked around the Monday of Labour day weekend.

Scheduling the important issues

The important issues are

Wes Rishel reported on three principle options one would have to deal with the XML representation the most likely one would be to define special representations of data types rather than to drag class/attribute representations into the discussion (FleXML.)

The schedule for the conference calls plus topic assignments is found in the V3DT project home page.

Prioritizing and even closing some open issues

The rest of the time the rest of the participants were brainstorming important open issues.

Stan Huff mentioned the issue of coded annotations discussed December 21, 1998. Since we now have a precedence of a choice between text and code in the address part (voted in by PAFM per acclamationem) Gunther gave up his resistance against coded comments. Stan and Gunther agree on the goal of this, which is the Standardization of what used to be treated as comments in the NTE.

The structural data type change will be twofold:

This would introduce another level of nesting and even an ad hoc choice, however, we can use the CD data type to express the same information: the original text could be used as the textual comment and the translations would include the code. This would also allow code phrases. It seems like a pretty powerful thing that may even be too powerful for what's needed, but at least it does everything Stan wants it to do.

The standardization of those comments could be to make it a vocabulary issue (the domain of comment codes) and/or to feed common comments of the v2.x world back to the committees. Stan's comprehensive list of comments is a good start to do that either or both ways.

It is quite likely that all those comments will be handled in different levels. There are comments useful for specific kinds of messages, other comments on object view level, and yet others on the data element level. Some, if not many, of the things that used to be treated as comments in v2.x may even better be modeled explicitly as attributes or other distinct information model constructs.

Next conference call is next Monday, August 9, 1999, 10:00 AM EDT.

Agenda items for next time are:

  1. Deciding on the small changes
    1. The meta model section has been taken out and is part of MDF now.
    2. Incomplete information section revised and extended in order to clarify the issue of "flavors or null" a little and in order to nail down the flavors of null more precisely.
    3. "Multimedia Enabled Free Text" or "Free Text" has been renamed to "Display Data" because of some confusion that the term "Text" evoked when used for multimedia data.
    4. Renaming of "Floating Point" (Number) to "Real"
    5. Person Name as of last Harmonization meeting. And, the proposed addition of one new Person Name Part Classifier of Axis 3 for "middle name". Some folks were confused not to find a "middle name" any more and it seems to be difficult for those people to imagine the middle name to be just the second given name.
    6. Organization Name slight alignment to the definition person name. Issues with the RIM, for PAFM and Harmonization.
    7. Launching work on the TIL that came up by MnM and in the Harmonization meeting. We need to address those issues.
      • The use of the TIL for phone numbers needs more explanation and rationale.
      • The TIL may need to be wrapped in a History.
      • The TIL may need some "use code", to capture the qualifiers "business", "home", "cellphone", etc. for phone numbers. How does this "use code" generalize to other communication addresses? Why is it needed?
    8. Request for comments on the uncertainty and probability issues. Would like to receive more comments on this by people who are interested in uncertainty and probability in medical information. Is a confidence interval the "intersection" between parametric probability distribution and interval? What about non-probabilistic uncertainty measures e.g., fuzzy set membership functions? If fuzzy sets (and probability distributions) are uncertain sets aren't "certain" sets, such as intervals, just a special case of that? Should we not explicitly invite the non-parametric probability distribution to be used for consolidated observations over a population? And if so, aren't "normal ranges" just such consolidated observations over a population (of "healthy" individuals)? Would it be allowed to use parametric probability distributions for any kind of distribution of a proportion X [0..1] over a range Y (e.g., sliding scale drug application? ventilator wave forms?)
  2. Going through issues raised by others
    1. Bob Dolin's issues
    2. your issues?

Please read through the change items to the data types as they apply to the above list of topics.


-Gunther Schadow