Hello OSEHRA Members,

The Administrative team has been working to make the Working Groups system more streamlined so that we can better support you. In order to do this, we'll be making some changes and we want your opinion!

Below is the full proposal of the New Working Group Restructuring Plan. Please submit your comments for review by attaching them to this discussion by September 14, 2012. We look forward to your commentary!

Thank you!

The OSEHRA Admin Team

OSEHRA Working Group Restructuring Plan


The group is the fundamental organization principle in Drupal.  As such this concept has taken on several meanings within OSEHRA:  a place to organize information around a concept, support for discussions related to a topic, and active working group with an agenda and deliverables. OSEHRA needs to redefine how the term “Group” is to be used in relation to the OSEHRA web site and to reorganize the site and support for Working Groups.

Currently OSEHRA supports 23 groups.  Some of these groups were organized when the site was created as a way to focus attention to OSEHRA founding documents and encourage public comment.  These are no longer relevant.  Other groups were created by the OSEHRA team in response to contract requirements.  Most of these are active.  A small number of groups were created at the request of the user community.  OSEHRA lacks defined requirements for group creation and support.  The existing group structure needs to be streamlined (proposals have been discussed as part of the web site redesign project) and a support structure put in place.

Proposed Group Reorganization

The 23 current groups should be reduced to 13 (as indicated in the comments and highlighting in the table above – preserved groups are highlighted).  The OSEHR System group, which has become a general catch all for open discussions should be re-defined as the top-level tag under the proposed title of “Open Source Projects” and will be the framework for organizing all software project groups. The remaining groups that are not to be preserved should be archived or their content moved into another group, the charter of which is written to include this content. Should the group disband, their discussions and information will be stored in the general OSEHRA repository in a file marked with the group’s name.

All groups need to have a charter that identifies the type of group, its mission, goals, deliverables and operating procedures.  The remaining 13 current groups that currently do not have charters need to create a charter and submit it for review by the group and approval by OSEHRA management. All groups should be categorized as either a Working Group or a Discussion Group, and must have one or more group leaders, for Working Groups, or moderators, for Discussion Groups.  

Working Group Requirements

All work groups must have one or more group leaders and will be supported by OSEHRA staff.  Work Groups will have regularly scheduled group web conferences and a face-to-face meeting during the OSEHRA annual meeting. The appointed Working Groups Administrator will take minutes of all web conferences and publish on the web site.  Group meetings will be publicly announced on a shared calendar and on the group site which will also be managed by the Working Groups Administrator.  

Discussion Group Requirements

Discussion groups must have one or more moderators who maintain the focus of group discussions in accordance with the group charter.  Discussion groups do not hold regular web conferences.  If the group is very active and desires a face-to-face meeting as part of the OSEHRA annual meeting it must petition OSEHRA management for this privilege.

Should the discussion veer from the objectives stated in the approved charter of a given Discussion Group, the site moderator will notify the Working Groups Administrator. The WGA will introduce the topic to the appropriate group and invite discourse while the Site Moderator redirects the discussion in the original group.

Open Source Project Group Requirements

The clear distinction between this type of group and the other two is that the charter focuses on a specific software package and software development goals. All project groups will have access to the code repository, technical journal and bug tracker and may or may not have regular meetings and staff support at the discretion of the group leader.

Proposed Group Support


Group Type

Support Requirements

Optional Support

Work Group

Web site, wiki, blog, e-mail list, webex, staff support for meetings/minutes

Tech Journal

Discussion Group

Web site, wiki, blog, e-mail list

webex, staff support for meetings/minutes, Tech Journal

Open Source Project Group

Web site, wiki, e-mail list, code repository, issue tracker, Tech Journal

webex, staff support for meetings/minutes

Proposed Group Creation Process

When either the community or OSEHRA staff identifies the need for a new group, an organizer must prepare a proposed Charter and statement of need that indicates the type of group and proposed staffing, both of which should be submitted online.  Also, groups or teams should specify if they require special support from OSEHRA. The web site should be extended to include an area for proposing new groups.  If the community demonstrates interest,  the proposed group should be presented to OSEHRA senior management during the weekly OSEHRA team meeting.  If approved, a web site administrator will then create the group and turn operations over to the identified group leaders. 

Proposed Group Retirement Process

When a group has completed the objectives and deliverables defined in its charter it must either submit a revised charter or be retired by its group leader(s). New charters should reflect amended objectives based on the group’s developed research and progress.  Retired groups should be archived in a separate area of the web site so the information generated by that group remains available.



OSEHRA Working Group Restructuring Plan

Gerald Higgins's picture

Dear Folks-

The genomics group of OSEHRA has received federal grant support from the VA and FDA, as well as significant entrepreneurial funding from AssureRx Health, Inc. and Sequioa Capital Ventures.

The objective is to develop a comprehensive plan, under the OSEHRA rubric for the following technology 'roadmaps' (I hate the term 'roadmap'):

  • Pharmacogenomic-based clinical decision support in the emerging iEHR: Led By Gerry Higgins and Kensaku Kawamoto
  • Large scale integration of pesonal genomic variants into the EHR: TBD

If we are getting kicked out of OSEHRA, could someone give me heads up?

Thanks - Gerry