We’re excited to hear from one of our newest Interoperability Heroes, Lisa Nelson, Vice President of Business Development and Principle Informaticist at MaxMD! Lisa stumbled upon the work MaxMD is doing while working on her Medical Informatics degree at Northwestern University. She discovered that MaxMD is committed to using standards in order to advance interoperability and make data liquidity possible to not only stakeholders, but to patients as well.

I was really focused on patients; I had started a nonprofit called Janie Appleseed that was seeking to ready individuals for the technology I could see was coming and I ran across MaxMD that really had the same passion and mission that I did.

After being exposed to health IT since the 1980s, it was working with cardiology PAC systems that left a strong impression on Lisa of the power standards have to really change how a system worked.

It really felt like interoperability was the one thing that I could bring to help make life better for people, which is why I started Janie Appleseed to work on a person-by-person basis.

Like Wonder Woman has her lasso or Superman has laser vison, Lisa’s secret superpower is to operate in a large Standards Development Organization.  She sees individuals operating in these organizations have the opportunity to make such a big difference.

Contributing her time in places such as standards development organizations was the greatest way to orchestrate much larger change. Lisa describes the experience, including how one teeny, little effort can multiply as others add on to these ideas, help to build the specifications, and then create something that goes out into the world and continues to blossom.

When you can do this across organizations… it’s like a bee pollinating around in all these different flowers. It just makes the effect so much greater because you share good ideas from one place to another and the next thing you know the fire lights up someplace else.

It takes a collective to make this change and standards development is always a team sport. Having interoperability organizations come together in camaraderie, support, and openness is unbelievable. It allows for respectful exchanges of views and other ideas from people to continue to grow this industry.

If you ever wanted to regenerate your belief in mankind and our ability to work together, come see what’s possible in a standards development organization.

People don’t realize how even the smallest contribution can make the perfect difference. Everyone has different experiences and knowledge which can help to see solutions to problems others might not have seen. It is important to encourage people to bring their own point of view to problem solving.

People have tons of experience with healthcare thanks to their life-story which can shape the technology we plan to design. To get their though we need a solution to connect the ideas of 3.5 million people and stakeholders; and Standards are the solution to the problem.

It’s true in every other major industry; banking, all forms of electronics, movie making… you pick something and whatever industry it is, I can tell you that there are standards driving what made the growth and maturation of that industry possible.

Another big part of connectivity is trust. Interoperability can only grow at the speed of trust, which can be difficult to achieve. If it is not part of the foundation with standards, then we will not be able to make progress.

The only way interoperability and standards can go any faster is to have more people help us row.

In the beginning, we are teaching the dance moves to others so that when the music comes on and everyone goes to the dance floor, we all know what we need to do and have it get easier to learn as time goes on.

Thank you to Lisa, an Interop Hero at MaxMD, for sharing your wisdom and experience with us!

Learn more about the Interoperability Hero Initiative and check out our first class of Interoperability Heroes!

This post was contributed by Sierra Reese