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Meeting Information


April 19, 2011


10 CDT/11 EDT

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Attending: Andy Rabin, Jack Kues, Francis Kwakwa, Valerie Smothers

Agenda Items

1 Review focus group results

Valerie asked Andy and Francis how they thought the focus group went.

Andy commented that he thought it went well. The XML no one had a challenge with. The bigger challenge was workflow, how to update the activity setup process to make sure you capture necessary data. There were a number of comments around making it a little more automated as opposed to logging in and uploading. Ed had a lot of comments, too. One thing they did discuss was uptake. XML feature has not been as high as they had anticipated. That reflects the industry in general. How do you incentivize people to use a more standards-based approach?

Jack recommended talking to power users. If they are having trouble with uptake, you can only imagine what kind of discussion with average consumer.

Andy commented that companies can enable accredited providers. People using their platform don’t even see the standards. To get broader adoption will be challenging. But acme seems supportive of it.

Jack commented that a parallel might be that the average pc user knows nothing about html but uses web pages all the time.

Andy questioned the appropriate use for standards. The comma delimited approach may never go away. Standards facilitate machine to machine interactions. In this case you know the parties involved. Look at other uses of the data - research projects, outcomes initiatives, etc. -  so that other groups could consume the pars report.

Jack commented that users have 2 issues – making sure the data is correct and working with institutional IT staff to make sure the data was accepted by the pars system. Everyone is in a different place with that. At Cincinnati, they have their IT staff, they understood and were able to address it. Some at SACME did not have IT staff, they had to borrow or figure it out for themselves. That’s more challenging. There is no in house tool to dump data in to talk to PARS.

Andy commented that’s to be expected. You need appropriate technical resources involved. The focus group consisted of technically sophisticated folks; they are not representative of the general population. Best practices and guidance will be important for important for implementation support.  Implementers may be willing to offer advice to those with questions.

Valerie commented that for other working groups she had started an implementer’s listserv where people could post questions and get responses from experienced implementers. Andy agreed that may be nice to offer.

Jack summarized that the implementers on the call get it, were able to adapt and make things work. The second thing coming through is that beyond big users, there is not quite as much uptake as anticipated among the less technically sophisticated.

Andy asked if Ed would be a part of the presentation.

Valerie replied that he wasn’t registered, but she could talk with him and see. Jack agreed there would be value in having the ACCME participate.

Jack commented that a focus group with less sophisticated providers would be interesting. He added that the change in the substance fo reporting that came with PARS was a bigger challenge than the technological issues. It requires resources to address these changes.

Valerie commented that her view was that providers used the comma delimited upload because it was easier to control what data was going into the report when entering it directly into a spreadsheet. Another factor was likely fear of that whch you don’t understand.

Jack agreed. When you are interfacing with an IT unit providing lots of services, there is the challenge of getting on their radar and getting high priority. If you do not have your own IT folks, one challenge is trying to describe CME and what you are doing in terms IT folks understand. Not an easy task. The average cme director doesn’t have a working knowledge of xml or standards needed to explain it well enough to someone external to their own unit. The spreadsheet approach describes a lot of cme providers. Jack recommended considering bridging tools and strategies for these users.

Francis commented that he has pushed to see if they can make inroads and do xml report. But the ACCME has more documentation for comma delimited transfer. The CME director developed an excel spreadsheet and thinks that is enough at this point. A bridging tool would be helpful. Francis questioned who could gain value for developing such a tool.

Andy commented that as long as the excel option remains, the majority will just do it that way.

Francis asked the group whether we should go ahead with a survey of cme providers. Jack commented that a survey and a focus group would be ideal.

2 Plan for MedBiquitous annual meeting

Valerie circulated a draft presentation based on Sean’s template. She suggested Sean could do slides 1-7,Francis 8-9, Andy 10-12 of the updated version.

Valerie asked the group what should be on the agenda for the meeting at the annual conference. We could talk about the high level agenda for the next year, set out some milestones, bnrainstorming.

Francis commented that the conversation should focus on where do we go from here. What is medbiq’s role going forward? How do we better get other organizations to implement?

Jack agreed we should see what opportunities we have to work with other partners to get better uptake. Pars alone won’t drive standards further than it has.

Valerie asked Jack if there was any update on the institute.

Jack agreed to send Valerie the minutes of a recent meeting.  The group agrees we need tools that will result in more standardized data.

3 Extending the data collection process to non-users


Action Items

  • Valerie will contact Ed to see if he will participate in the session.
  • Valerie will revise the draft presentation and resend to the presenters.
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