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The Service-Aware Interoperability Framework (SAIF) goal is to create and manage easy-to-use, traceable, consistent and coherent Interoperability Specifications (ISs) regardless of the message, document or service interoperability-paradigm. The SAIF focus is on managing and specifying artifacts that explicitly express the characteristics of software components that affect interoperability. SAIF’s approach is to organize and manage architectural complexity with a set of constructs, best practices, processes, procedures and categorizations. SAIF’s scope is the interoperability space between system components. Specifically, SAIF manages the interworking among distributed systems that may involve information exchanges or service interactions and state changes; SAIF is not Enterprise Architecture . SAIF combines four sub-frameworks, that together form a basis for defining comparable interoperability specifications (Information and Behavioral Frameworks) and formalizing governance and conformity assessment methods (Governance and Enterprise Conformance and Compliance Frameworks) critical to defining and using interoperability specifications.
  • The Information Framework (IF) defines information models that specify the static semantics of interactions. This includes patterns for structured and unstructured data, documents, messages and services, metadata, quality measures and transformations. The IF scope includes the needs of direct clinical care, supportive and information infrastructure areas. The models, terminologies, vocabularies and value sets specify the static semantics for expressing concepts, relationships (including cardinalities), constraints, rules, and operations needed to specify data, data type bindings, vocabulary and value set bindings.
  • The Behavioral Framework (BF) defines constructs that specify dynamic semantics of interactions in an interoperability specification. The BF focus is the accountability required to achieve working interoperability. Accountability is a description of “who does what when.” Accountability manifests itself as implicit or explicit contracts at the enterprise, business, capability, service and at the interface implementation levels. BF accountability is described by the relationships among various stakeholders and system components, applications and their system roles. These relationships involve information exchanges and state changes within use case scenarios.

  • Jointly, the IF and BF allow the specification of business objects, components, capabilities, applications, systems and their respective roles, responsibilities and information exchanges. The HL7 implementation of the IF and BF draws on storyboards, Domain Analysis Models (DAM), Reference Information Model (RIM), vocabulary concepts, HL7 core principles plus message, document and service models.
  • The Governance Framework (GF) purpose is to relate decisions and policies, to the IF and BF, managed within the ECCF. The GF scope includes core decision and configuration management processes concerning conformance, escalation, communication, vitality, and precepts . The GF defines expectations, grants power, verifies performance and manages configuration baselines. Governance consists of either a separate process or parts of management or leadership processes. Sometimes a governing board or council is set up to administer these processes and systems.
  • The Enterprise Conformance and Compliance Framework (ECCF) goal is to ensure Working Interoperability (WI) among various healthcare organizations; WI is also known as compatibility among healthcare systems. The ECCF purpose is to manage the relationship between architectural artifacts and implementations of those artifacts. The objective of a fully qualified ECCF is to be a clear, complete, concise, correct, consistent and traceable interoperability specification, which is easy to use. The ECCF is an assessment framework, which supports configuration management baselines and risk assessments throughout a business-capability lifecycle. The ECCF is used to specify information exchange interoperability and conformance statements for documents, messages and services. The ECCF contains definitions of terms, such as conformance, compliance, consistency and traceability. An ECCF provides a template, called a Specification Stack (SS) that allows you to specify business objects, components, capabilities, applications and systems organized as a matrix of Reference Model Open Distributed Processing (RM-ODP) viewpoints and Model Driven Architecture (MDA) layers.

SAIF provides external stakeholders with a clear picture of exactly what is required to use and interoperate with an organization’s software components. A given component's specification is SAIF-compliant if it species "just enough" to enable the desired interoperability for the component as determined by how the capability is being used in its deployment context, such as within a lab, or within a wider enterprise community of partners.