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Clinical interoperability based on open standards.











How can it be done

If you just jumped in here, you might want to read What first.

There have and there currently still are some attempts by standard developing organizations and associations to promote interoperability, but these are making little impact. They appear to be sporadic isolated interventions, which end up reaching a relatively small group of people.

There are really two ways to get a community to change the way they do things:

  1. The change is imposed from above, legislation.
  2. The entire community understands that a change needs to happen.

Changes are typically bound to happen if either one of these situations occur. Our approach to maximize the chances of success is to make both of them occur.

Change coming from above: legislation

Changes coming through via legislation have their advantages: they are typically the fastest one to get applied and they generate a lot of publicity. If a new law which fines developers if their products do not allow importing and exporting in a particular standard were to be passed, every developer would soon have some sort of implementation of the requirement.

The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t guarantee sustainability. As soon as the law is removed, the situation could revert to how it was before.

In addition, developers will always tend to do the least amount of implementation possible, according to what the law permits. It could turn out to be a battle of words and meanings, and we might end up with half interoperability or open-standards based interoperability only towards the government, but not between software vendors.

However, having a laws and regulations which define and impose the usage of open-standards would provide more credibility and support for the changing community.

Therefore, even though it is important, lobbying to get new laws passed will not provide the ultimate solution to the problem.

Change coming from below: entire community

What is the orthodontic community made out of? What kind of people, what kind of “actors”?

If each of these actors had a complete understanding of the problem and what they could do to solve it, then a change is bound to happen.

Complete understanding of the problem

In order to gain complete understanding of any new concept, the human mind needs to be exposed to it over and over again. Sporadic one time events will enter one ear, and exit the other. The individual will not understand the relevance of the subject until they hear or read about it many times from different sources. Education is therefore a necessary step.

How education is address for each actor is specified in the each actor page linked above.

See Also