Guidelines for Participation

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Luis Maas coordinates the project. The specific outcomes of the project, and the lessons learned, will be incorporated into the continuing evolution of the Nationwide Health Information Network to support the widest array of users and uses.

Paths To Participation

See Overall Process

Using The Wiki

Each user story has its own Wiki page here, allowing for the community to work together on each story and the overall picture. The discussions behind each user story should be vigorous - building a common understanding of what each story means, and its implication for health data exchange. The stories should be told from the perspective of the patient, doctors, or other primary actors, so that we have a better understanding of the intended outcomes. These stories can then be locked down and endorsed, so that we can derive requirements and discuss possible pilots.

Be kind to our mistakes; if you notice inconsistancies or areas left undone, note them, or if you have edit privileges, help fix them, in a manner as community-minded as possible. Anyone out there with design skills that wants to help spruce up the wiki or the blog is welcome to volunteer as well.

Why Two Paths?

One of the major design goals of the Direct Project is to enable simple, direct interop for a wide set of participants, and to do so in a timeframe that allows for standards-based health information exchange meeting the goals for Stage 1 Meaningful Use outcomes. Accordingly, there will be a number of design and implementation tradeoffs between items that would be desirable to support and items that are essential to support. The acid tests for an item under consideration are:

  1. Would I feel comfortable going live for the providers I support without this item? and
  2. Do I have the resources to deliver this item in the timeframe to which I've committed?

We believe the best participants to create and implement those designs are those who are on the hook for delivery.

We also believe that the wider community of interest has much to add, by suggesting new items, discovering issues, contributing expertise, etc. We do not wish to limit those contributions in any way.

Rules for Using the Wiki

Keeping any Wiki community focused and productively engaged requires all of us to follow some simple rules of etiquette, rules that apply to how we participate in discussions and edit each others' pages.

Those rules include:

  • No posting of off-topic content or links.
  • No deleting the work of others without community discussion.
  • No getting too "personal" towards other contributors in your comments, or using profanity.
  • No misrepresenting your own identity or other information in your profile.
  • No engaging in "Wiki wars" where two parties reverse each others' edits without striving for a neutral point of view or creating separate pages.

While there is much that could be written as to how a community might moderate itself, the most important guideline for any participant is still the Golden Rule: treat others the same way you yourself would like to be treated. Suggestions for more guidelines? Perhaps more cribbed from the Wikipedia "Etiquette" page?

The Wikipedia has its "Five Pillars" of its community. It may be worthwhile to adopt something similar here.