[September 05, 2000] XChart is "an open source electronic healthcare system designed from the ground up around XML and associated technologies such as XSLT, RDF and grove processing."
[September 05, 2000] A communiqué from Jonathan Borden on behalf of the Open Healthcare Group announces 'XChart' -- an XML-based open source electronic healthcare system. The Open Healthcare Group Community is composed of medical and technology professionals collaborating on technology standards "to make the healthcare system better and more efficient." The Open Healthcare Group's XChart Project is described as "a movement to create an electronic medical record that is easier than paper. XChart is a system designed to combine the ease, speed and portability of paper systems with the efficiencies of computerized records. XChart is browsable via the web with minimal training. XChart supports standards. The Open Healthcare Group has selected XML as a basis for the XChart repository because: (1) It is becoming ubiquitous. (2) It is easy to use. (3) It is portable across operating systems and languages [well specified hence allowing future generations to read documents created today; available on nearly every platform in existence with open source parsers available in nearly every language; has a well defined EBNF specification]. (4) XML can be transformed via XSLT into many presentation formats including HTML for rendering within browsers and WML for wireless devices. Using XML, a portable and ubiquitous information system can be created." XChart will be intuitive and will operate across a wide range of devices including desktop machines, laptops, and handheld wireless devices. XChart has been designed around RDF to allow intelligent agents to operate on the repository, enabling the next generation of medical research. Because the information is stored as native XML, it is independent of the particular operating system and software implementation. This strategy supports the goal of supporting a universal, long lasting, indexed, searchable electronic medical record. The team is also in the process of developing a grove system to enable XML based processing of XML as well as other information standards such as MIME, EDI and traditional HL-7. A demonstration of a Java Servlet/XSLT based system which creates operative reports is now available. The servlet implementation uses the XMTP technique of transforming the source MIME request into an XML represention. Technical information on the system design is available in a background paper. For example, the team has "developed techniques to interoperate with traditional (SQL) database systems which have been used in the initial implemention, now in clinical use. They are currently in the process of transforming this system into a fully native XML system and have developed techniques to edit XML files as if they were SQL tables. The operative note generator has been tested against Saxon, XT, Xalan and MSXML XSLT processors." The Open Healthcare Group development team will also be releasing a number of specifications and software projects which serve as a basis for the XChart project. See the project web site for other information.
For related research and development, see: (1) "ISIS European XML/EDI Healthcare Pilot Project (XMLEPR)"; (2) "DocScope: Open Source XML Healthcare Project"; (3) "Health Level Seven XML Patient Record Architecture (PRA)"; (4) "ASTM XML Document Type Definitions (DTDs) for Health Care"; (5) "The CISTERN Project - Standard XML Templates for Healthcare."
Demonstration. "The OpenHealth XChart Opnote Generator is an XML application which generates surgical operative reports via XSLT templates. This is purely a demonstration version, encryption and password protection has been turned off for demonstration purposes. Real patient names, identifiers and identifying information should not be entered into this unencrypted demonstration."