Notes:
  • Good announcement yesterday. Thanks to all on group. Great direction and progress. Picked up well in media, blogosphere.
  • Very successful NHIN University event yesterday.
    • Arien: Was a good webinar. Not sure on final totals for numbers of participants, but very healthy set of questions. Very positive tone. Appreciated presentations that message was more about clinical quality improvement and use of Direct for health/healthcare improvement than about the technology. Went off very nicely.
    • Rich: Heard from Meryt that they had about 202 participants, 3 reporters (GovHealth IT, CMIO, DNA health it law and industry report. Should expect some media coverage there within next week or so. Big thanks to Janet for work on website and redirection to ensure links matched website for production.
    • Arien: thanks to Rich for leadership of this workgroup and all group.
    • Rich: Been a whole team effort - important about what we're doing is that we need to have critical mass to make this work. Across country, need everyone adoption or won't be successful. Communications WG is essential for this effort. In previous meeting, had conversation about moving into sustainability mode rather than wind this group down. Not yet far enough along with project to completely wind down. Continuing to provide direction for communication and continue to move ahead. Want to get some time to Arien to give his thoughts on this and feedback from group about next steps
      • Arien: ongoing call for keeping many of the work groups together on a reduced frequency. The work the community has brought in has been all of the value of the direct project and would be a shame to let such a valuable community stop contributing, particularly when there is much growth from where we started a year ago. A whole set of announcements and commitments lined up, but not over finish line for ubiquitous availability for direct addresses for providers/patients. 2011 will be significant transitional year with need to keep up momentum to a place in 2012, where hopefully direct support is ubiquitous and well established. In other groups, discussed twice monthly meeting schedule. Support for keeping reference implementation WG together, IG together, keeping Best Practices WG together as ongoing support for the project. Clearly Communications WG is one of these areas where much left to do, can keep up communications effort but potentially on a reduced level of intensity and frequency.
        • John Blair: Support reducing group meeting schedule - think it makes sense.
        • Janet: think what we've seen so far is majority of work isn't happening in the weekly calls. It’s a good way to get the word out to the group about what's happening. Having this meeting is a good thing to solicit volunteers. Could perhaps work at once per month, twice per month max. Sustainability of website - goal to write a backend to change website for basic stuff without programming knowledge. For right now, good with involvement for now. Eventually- where does this go? And who will continue to update.?Infrastructure within ONC or others to take on.
          • Rich: one thing we'd like to address. Think Janet has been so instrumental in key announcements and update website. Great to hear you can hold on for awhile. At some point this year, need to figure out effective transition so it's maintained and supported when there's a more stable position for the website. If there's somewhere we can begin to engage in a conversation to make that happen overtime?
            • Arien: ONC website that is a good place for the basic, informational content. Has limitations in terms of what can be shared there. To extent direct project specs become NwHIN specs and part of other ONC certification efforts, then makes sense to house those under the wiki and have basic informational web material on ONC site directing back there. Not much precedence (except through FHA and CONNECT) for having ONC fund independent website, though it's possible. Right long-term place for Direct to have a life after we wind down active project, could make case for it. Goal of Direct was to create and incubate specs - when have we fulfilled mission and when does need for independent project go away? Imagine that we've done a lot in a year, maybe have another year of shepherding. With success, becomes part of other programs.
              • Rich: Sounds like a logical path. If becomes part of phase 2, may be the right way to let evolve. Basically, work with ONC in response to that.
              • Katie: Only recommendation is now when increasing visibility to have another address, for ease of finding/getting to the content. Recommendation when raising visibility that not quickly transition into another site that will prevent to going directly to info about the direct project. Recognize admin/management issues, but just a recommendation.
              • Arien: keep it going for another year or so, then begin to incorporate elsewhere.
  • Rich: Question for Arien and group - what' s next? Where should we turn attention?
    • Arien: Next event is HITSC meeting at end of month. Then, major events are keeping up the visibility of the ecosystem, as intent and actuality. Main focus of Communications WG should be around consistent and clear messaging of that ecosystem. And prepare to be proactive/reactive to environmental changes.
    • John: Agree with what Arien proposes, this committee is good. Try to make sure message stays accurate and minimize any confusion. This group understands what's contemplated , what we're trying to do. It's an avenue to help minimize any confusion as it comes.
      • Arien: One thing trying to be careful about is setting 2011 expectations appropriately. People get disappointed easily. They want to turn it on now, they talk to their EHR vendor in sales/field support , who will want to focus on what they have available now/the products they're currently selling, not about the future. Messaging gets confused here, between field operations and headquarters. Need to set expectations for 2011 as transitional rollout year. Now that specs are final, doesn’t mean everyone can get right now.
      • John: Think expectation issue is correct. Some think Direct will handle nothing, some think it will handle everything. There's also a what does this mean - how does it fit into whats been going on in last 10 years/ what does it replace or enhance?
      • Rich: Sounds like need to create educational webinar opportunities like NHIN University.
        • Help to clarify for attendees/media, as well.