Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How Does HL7 Work?

A three minute video explaining how HL7 standards work  provides an excellent example of how standards help reduce costs. HL7 standards provide a means for disparate computer systems to communicate clinical and administrative data. Before these standards existed, expensive intergration was needed, without which, these systems could not communicate.

HL7 standards are available from ANSI.

HL7 is an ANSI Accredited Standards Developing Organization. HL7 provides standards for the exchange, management and integration of data that support clinical patient care and the management, delivery and evaluation of healthcare services. A 30 minute course explaining more about HL7 describes why standards are so important, how HL7 standards enable interoperability and how you can get involved.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wildlife Forensics - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service operates a forensics lab for crime investigation to support wildlife law enforcement agents at the state, federal and international level. Much like a police forensics lab, the service works to link victim, suspect and physical evidence.

The website has a feather atlas with high resolution scans of the flight feathers of major groups of North American birds. Forensics investigators can use this database to match unknown feathers with the ones identified in the atlas. Where else could you find high resolution scans of the feathers of a Great Blue Heron -  Ardea herodias?

Take a video tour through the lab to find out more about how the lab employs beetles to clean bones or uses x-rays to examime incoming evidence.