What happens when the funding goes away?
July 4, 2014 in Medical Technology
There are three ways that standards really happen. One is when a bunch of organizations get together to solve a mutually challenging problem and develop something, like CDA or HL7 Version 2. The other is when a bunch of organizations discover that a particular piece of technology works to solve a problem and decide to make it a standard (e.g. Schematron or PDF). The third way is when a single organization decides that a standard should exist and funds the development of it. Large (usually governmental, but not always) organizations do this sometimes.
The question that concerns me about the latter is what happens when the funding goes away. I’ve seen this occur already in some funded “meaningful use hopeful” standards projects (projects hoping to get a line in the reg at some point). The interesting thing is what happens when the funding disappears. Momentum gets lost, sometimes enough that the standard itself might never really get finished, or implemented, or used.