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CISTERN: XML Templates for Clinical Documents. AT TEPR 2000, Killdara announces plans to publish XML DTDs for common healthcare messages

San Francisco, CA. May 9, 2000.

Killdara Corporation, an innovative VC-funded vendor applying Internet solutions to healthcare integration, today announced details of the CISTERN initiative. CISTERN is the Clinical Information Systems Interoperability Network, a neutral forum for HIS vendors, consultants and users to hammer out real-world data exchange standards. CISTERN grew out of the experiences of Killdara and other vendors participating in the HL7 interoperability demonstration at the HIMSS conference in April.

According to John Ogilvie, CEO of Killdara, "With the Internet and PKI, we have the framework for low-cost, simple connectivity between healthcare organizations. All that's missing is commonly-accepted templates - standard documents. If you visit or, where XML developers look for industry-standard XML templates, you can find many different templates for a purchase order - but none for a lab order. If we are going to build real integrated healthcare systems, we need to have these standard templates. As a vendor of secure clinical messaging systems, Killdara needs these templates more than anyone. Agreeing on XML templates is like agreeing on railway gauges."

Killdara has therefore taken a lead this past year in creating these prototype healthcare templates, drawing on existing healthcare standards efforts such as HL7 and the Andover Working Group, and consulting with leading HIS vendors and integrators. Glenn Thomsen, Killdara's VP Strategic Business Development, and coordinator for CISTERN said "We have taken the work of the HL7 XML and Conformance groups, the work of other integrators active in the field, and our own expertise as Internet systems architects, and merged them to build these templates. We feel they balance rigour and simplicity. This kind of standards-based communication will bring healthcare into the 21st century in terms of electronic document exchange."

Killdara and other vendors will be using these templates as a foundation for commercial healthcare integration projects this summer in an experimental setting. The templates are being submitted all relevant industry bodies for review and adoption. A whitepaper and sample DTD template will be distributed by Killdara at the TEPR 2000 conference in San Francisco, May 9-11, 2000.

The focus for CISTERN is the CISTERN website and the electronics discussion group CISTERN participants upload analytic use cases, UML diagrams, DTDs and sample XML documents, for peer review and balloting by CISTERN participants. Participants can also demonstrate 'live' Internet applications implementing CISTERN standards. These applications are lab systems, physician PCs and other clinical systems exchanging patient records securely and electronically.

About Killdara Corporation

Since 1989, Killdara Corporation has been helping dozens of customers build advanced computer systems. Projects have included scientific, healthcare, financial, security and consumer projects, with a focus on websystems. Recent Killdara projects have included a high-capacity web database reporting system for the Ontario government, a telemedicine/expert system for ICUSA in Baltimore, and a high-security student information system for UC Berkeley in California.

At the end of 1999, Killdara announced the Paraphrase Engine product line, made possible by a venture capital investment from Primaxis Technology Ventures, a Toronto-based venture catalyst firm.


CISTERN is a multi-vendor collaborative effort to define real-world interoperability standards and practices for healthcare. The major focus is an ad-hoc live Internet demonstration hosted at, where vendors can demonstrate their products exchanging live information with other vendors around the world, using the XML, PKI and Internet protocols.

CISTERN is inspired by the TCP/IP network interop testbeds/events of the past twenty years, which gave us the vendor-neutral Internet we know today.

For further information, contact James Peto, VP Communications, Killdara Corporation, 613-256-8685,

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive.

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