What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

Well, for starters, sometimes everything. Names are highly important. It’s the mechanism we use to remember our friends and family by, as well as our adversaries. Names aid us in navigating the world, in providing direction as to how to understand what’s underneath the surface. Names can also lead us astray, as in “don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” I feel it’s time to reconsider the name of this blog in interest of providing better understanding to the world about what’s happening here.

Welcome to Interop Futures! Why Interop Futures? It’s what I do. I have the good fortune to spend a good amount of my time thinking about the future of interoperability, specifically in healthcare. I apply this thinking to ideas at my full time job. I apply this thinking in my IHE participation. I apply this thinking to other non-career related areas of my life as well.

I have a few specific reasons for changing the name:

Better Industry Recognition

My old blog name – {ts_blog} – was rather poetic (as a respected colleague recently mentioned to me – thanks Gila!), but it was quite vague as well. Unless you read the tag line or titles of some of the posts it was hard to really understand what this web presence was all about. Now we have more clarity about what’s going on here.

Alignment with Career and Industry Involvement

I have been trading in interop futures for the better part of a decade now, going back to 2007 when I first got involved in IHE. I joined a company and wrote a profile on antepartum care, and then implemented that profile in our EHR solution. I left that company about a year later because funding was cut for “IHE work.” And so began my career in interoperability futures. I have worked for three other companies since, with a handful of independent contracts in between and almost all of my work involves thinking about and implementing solutions around the future of healthcare IT, about future-proofing those systems, about developing ideas on how to bridge the old to the new, and so on.

Retains a Certain Amount of Flexibility

“Interop Futures” does not have “healthcare” in the name. It allows for a certain amount of flexibility in terms of what topics I choose to write about. Many of the underlying standards used in healthcare IT standards and solutions are domain-agnostic. SOAP and REST by themselves are not healthcare specific, but when used in XDS and FHIR they certainly become so.

It’s a Cool Name!

What’s not to like about the name “Interop Futures”? It sounds like a cool movie, or a crystal ball that allow you to see what’s coming. In reality there is no crystal ball, and I certainly have no movie contracts. Even still, thinking about the future of where health IT is going, and how we might get there is intriguing! As we must not also forget the past lest be condemned to repeat it, the writing you will find here will at times focus on the past and the present, to build into thinking about what is coming in the future!

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