I finally don’t feel ‘new to openEHR’ anymore

Just wanted to share that just now I finished reading the EHR information model and finally I feel some familiarity with the openEHR specifications! What a journey:

I read the architecture overview, the new process overview and various paragraphs of the AQL and common information model specifications;
I watched many event recordings and YouTube instructions;
I build archetypes templates and queries and dabbled a bit with the GDL2 editor;
I reviewed new archetypes and participated in editorial meetings, translated a few existing archetypes and the openEHR terminology;
only now I don’t feel ‘new to openEHR’ anymore:D

It cost me over a year and many weekend, nights and early morning meetings and gave me a huge kickstart in health informatics, happy users and I got to know many inspiring people in this great community!

Looking forward to the future!

P.s. we really need to do something about our learning curve as an openEHR community:p


hehe, even after 7 years I’m sometimes still learning lots of new things. It’s really a deep rabbit hole :slight_smile:

I also agree on the importance of open educational resources. We made a start with the EHRbase documentation but we can surely improve by a lot. Hence, input is always very much welcome!


That’s a huge effort! I hope you can contribute some pearls of wisdom, on at least two fronts:

  • any disconnect between your professional clinical/medical view, and what is in openEHR;
  • propose some ideas on how to make that learning curve easier to climb.

We’re always trying to solve the learning curve challenge…


Well the main reason I love openEHR and enjoyed reading software specs in my free time is how closely the described requirements and the solutions match my clinical experience. So I have little to add on that right now. Also from my experience (described above) I did not find any serious mismatching with clinical reality. (And I even can’t think of minor mismatches at the top of my hat). Only thing I could share again is my compliments for the people writing those specs, extremely well done! In future more complex endeavours on modelling workflows in a care path and plan something may come up:)

Regarding educational material, I don’t have the solution since a lot of the complex stuff is in understanding the requirements that result from the actual complexity of medicine (informatics). I have a few minor ideas/suggestions, but they are mostly brain farts at the moment:

  1. snomed has a ‘foundational’ (and lots of advance) e-learning course(s). Practical experience and hands on training helps a lot in understanding complexity. We could create same thing similar (but better:p)
  2. currently the main way of getting familiar with the specs is by reading the (architectural) overview documents and the information models documents (Ehr, common, base, proc etc). The overview document are very descriptive and more easy to understand the context but are lacking sufficient depth to get started on a specific usecase. The model documents are sufficiently detailed but are hard to take in in one piece. (It took me multiple weekends and like 5-10 hours to study it entirely, that’s way too much for most people)
  3. One of my thoughts would be to create more usecase specific documentation: e.g. “design an observation archetype” or “design a template” etc. and list only the requirements and class diagrams relevant to that usecase.
  4. I’d like to separate the descriptions and requirements from the technical class descriptions: the descriptions are usually read just once the class the descriptions are often read again for reference.
  5. I think the descriptive texts are so valuable they could be the basis for a health informatics handbook:p
  6. I’d like to get (professional?) proofreading/editing on the specs. Some minor typo’s, inconsistency or outdated examples had me confused way too much (kept thinking I myself must be missing something)

On a final note I really like the amount of support I received in this process, on discourse, slack etc, thank you!

I think you have given yourself a job!!

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If we managed to achieve that, it’s because we had a great environment and team early on under @DavidIngram in the GEHR project and at UCL - in both places we had more MDs, RNs etc than IT people, and we got most of our understanding of what goes on in clinics, and healthcare data from them.

We count on you and other medical professionals to stop us from doing stupid things :wink: It’s also worth mentioning that the current version of the technology (i.e. GDL, created by @rong.chen at Cambio) integrates pretty well with clinical practice - I think because it was designed by Rong with his MD hat on.

I think for doing practical work, we need some smaller manuals that are built around the ITS artefacts, and describe specific use cases, e.g. ‘how to configure new EHR system’, how to create reports, how to build a multi-screen app from templates or whatever.


We have thought about that…!

thanks for the feedback.

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Writing this post made me realise I would love to contribute more to this community. Once the dust settles of having two jobs already, I’ll have another look and hopefully have more time and mind space:)