Model-Driven Health Tools (MDHT): The Release of MDHT 1.1 and the Improvements in Health IT

Dr. Doug Fridsma | August 24, 2012

In an April 2012 blog on Health IT Buzz, I highlighted the Model-Driven Health Tools (MDHT) project’s goals and development status. Since then, the MDHT project team has released MDHT Version 1.1 Exit Disclaimer.

About MDHT

MDHT is an open source project run through the Standards and Interoperability Framework that aims to provide health IT standards developers and implementers a common modeling framework. It also provides the tools for the efficient and secure exchange of health information from one care provider to the next.

For example, in the Transition of Care (ToC) Exit Disclaimer of a patient from one care provider to the next, MDHT aims to facilitate the ease of:

  • Continuity of Care documentation
  • Discharge summaries
  • Observations and procedures
  • Overall health information exchange (HIE)

Release of MDHT 1.1

The release of MDHT 1.0 in September 2011 pushed the project to the frontline of health IT innovation. MDHT 1.1 further enhances the infrastructure support allowing the integration of many stakeholders developing and managing models in a single space. MDHT provides health and health IT stakeholders a modeling environment to collaborate and communicate in one modeling framework.

The current MDHT Release 1.1 Exit Disclaimer includes the following updates:

  • Consolidated Clinical Documentation Architecture (C-CDA) support
  • Enhancements to the Unified Modeling Language (UML) table editor
  • Attribute Validation – Improved support for specifying validation constraints
  • Automatic generation of complex OCL expressions using a nested class structure

These improvements built into MDHT’s existing tools, methodology, and best practices make the process easier for standards developers to create specifications for Meaningful Use 2 (e.g., the Consolidated CDA specification). Before MDHT, there was little or no tooling available that was specifically aimed at standards developers. The tooling that did exist was proprietary and hard to operate. This means that most standards development happened very slowly. MDHT accelerates the process of creating, implementing, and testing standards.

Prior to MDHT, the only resources available to implementers were paper specifications—Microsoft Word documents and PDFs, which  did not have anything that could accelerate the development of applications and no straightforward way to test whether their applications were “correct” in terms of the standard. By using MDHT, however, the same models used by standards developers are also used to produce software libraries that implementers can pick up and begin to use right away. The MDHT team has increased usability by providing generated APIs that are domain-specific, and is continuously working to lower the time and skill barriers to the adoption of the standards themselves to increase usability and adoption.

Stakeholder Feedback on MDHT

As a project partially funded by ONC, MDHT is actively seeking stakeholder opinions and insight. If you have used the MDHT tool or intend to, we’d like to hear from you! Please voice your opinions and provide feedback by responding to this survey Exit Disclaimer.

We value the opinions of the community, and take all feedback very seriously as we continue to develop MDHT.

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