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  March 31, 2017 

The Health Level 7 Services-Aware Interoperability Framework (SAIF)

SAIF Overview

The HL7 Services-Aware Interoperability Framework provides a set of constructs, processes, best practices, etc. that enable HL7 cross-specification consistency and coherency irrespective of the chosen interoperability paradigm: messages (eg V2.x & V3), documents (eg CDA) or services. 

The main benefits of developing specifications using the SAIF are: consistency of specifications, enhanced ability to manage loosely-coupled complex interactions between multiple trading partners, increased cross-organization reuse of architecture primitives.  In particular, SAIF enables realizing the value of CMETs and extending that value proposition to include behavioral as well as static semantic constructs.

SAIF consists of four core "frameworks":

  • Information (including RIM, data types, vocabulary bindings, etc.)
  • Behavior (subsuming the existing Dynamic Model)
  • Enterprise Conformance and Compliance (including HL7's existing Implementation and Conformance standards)
  • Governance

Originally titled SAEAF (Services-Aware Enterprise Architecture Framework), it was renamed to "SAIF" in February 2010 to avoid confusion with other enterprise architecture frameworks (EAFs) such as Zachman and Togaf.  SAIF should be regarded as an adjunct to any EAF which focuses on Working Interoperability (WI).  It brings from SOA practice two critical constructs which significantly enhance the path to WI, i.e. Separation of concerns (static vs behavioral semantics) and Formal notion of contracts.

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SAIF Introductory Videos

HL7 International has released the specification for the Canonical Definition of the Services-Aware Interoperability Framework (SAIF CD).  This important new document defines a set of languages that enable those working in any one of the established enterprise architecture frameworks (TOGAF, Zachman, RM-DOP, etc.) to more consistently and explicitly define appropriate details of a given component (a service, a message, a document, etc.) involved in one or more "cross-boundary" (intra- or inter-enterprise) interoperability scenarios.  Specifically, the SAIF CD defines a set of languages for describing Informational (static) and Behavioral (dynamic) semantics from the perspective of interoperability.  The languages are ultimately instantiated in organization-specific SAIF Implementation Guides (IGs).  As such, the SAIF CD and its derivative IGs are not meant to be replacements, but rather adjuncts for existing architecture frameworks.  In addition to the informational and behavioral languages, the SAIF CD provides a framework for collecting artifacts based on applying its languages across multiple dimensions viewed from several role-based perspectives.  At its core, the SAIF CD draws heavily on a number of the SOA Design Principles and the SOA Benefits and Goals of Thomas Erl's previous publications.  Finally, it provides a governance language that is based on the SOA Governance Framework defined in Thomas Erl's recent book "SOA Governance: Governing Shared Services On-Premise & in the Cloud."

HL7 SAIF Links

An introduction to the H77 Services-Aware Interoperability Framework can be found on the HL7 wiki and more details on the SAIF Main Page.  The SAIF development is governed by the HL7 International Architecture Board (ArB).

HL7 SAIF - Latest News

HL7 Announces Value-Based Care Summit Focused on HL7® FHIR®
Wednesday, 29th March 2017
Health Level Seven® International (HL7®), the global authority for interoperability in healthcare information technology and the home of the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) standard, today announced that the HL7 Value-Based Care FHIR Summit will take place on April 11 and 12, 2017 in Chicago, IL.  The event will be co-hosted by Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), Microsoft and the AHIP Innovation Lab.  The purpose of the event is to demonstrate how FHIR can support value-based care and highlight how the standard is being successfully implemented to solve some of today's interoperability challenges.  It will include discussions and demonstrations of the technologies that enable improved provider-payer collaboration for information exchange, which is essential to the transition to the value-based care model.

HL7 Announces Winners of FHIR Applications Roundtable of Real-World FHIR Solutions
Monday, 27th March 2017
Health Level Seven® International (HL7®), the global authority for interoperability in healthcare information technology and home to the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) standard, today announced the winners of the second FHIR® applications roundtable, an event focused on showcasing FHIR-based solutions in use in today's healthcare industry.  The organization also announced that the presentation slides and video recordings are now freely available to view on the HL7 website.  The HL7 FHIR® Applications Roundtable was held at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina on March 7 and 8, 2017 and highlighted 39 FHIR-based solutions available today.

HL7 Publishes FHIR® Release 3
Wednesday, 22nd March 2017
Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA – March 22, 2017 – Health Level Seven® International (HL7®), the global authority for interoperability in healthcare information technology with affiliates in 35 countries, today announced that it has published Release 3 of the HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) Standard for Trial Use (STU).  The new version is the culmination of 18 months of extensive work to incorporate changes and enhancement requests received from implementation partners across the world, including the Argonaut Project.

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