Friday, November 21, 2008

The Lighter Side of NCVHS

So who says that the complex and important work of the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) can’t also be light-hearted?

The following are transcript excerpts from the NCVHS full committee meeting on September 16-17, 2008. The award for the best one-liner goes to Larry Green, University of Colorado.

MR. REYNOLDS: … I would ask that if you have any conflicts of interest related to any issues coming before us today would you please so publicly indicate during your introduction. I have no conflicts.

** A number of other participants introduce themselves having no conflicts. **

MS. MCCALL: Carol McCall. I am with Humana, member of the committee, no known conflicts.

MR. HOUSTON: No known conflicts, you sound like an attorney. John Houston, University of Pittsburg, and member of the committee, no known conflicts either.


DR. MIDDLETON: I think we are allowed three newbie questions right?

MR. REYNOLDS: No, you are not new anymore Blackford. If you go back and read the early minutes of today's meeting you are no longer new.

MS. TRUDEL: … Both of those standards underwent significant revision as a result of the first round of pilots and we are very much hoping that both or at least one of them will be in a place where we can move forward.

MR. REYNOLDS: Let me just volunteer a comment: Hot dog that is great!


DR. TANG: The other piece is data. … Data might be the third dimension to this matrix and I think it will relate very tightly to the data stewardship presentation … How does NCVHS with it's policy focus and data middle name fit into this matrix? …

MR. REYNOLDS: Did all of you notice that since Paul's part of the committee that he is now given the committee a middle name? I am not sure we have adopted that yet, but we have noted that the comment was made.


MR. WALLEN: … you've beaten the PHR and the EHR to death, and so I won't go into any of that.

MR. BLAIR: But you noticed they're not dead yet.


DR. GREEN: I'd like to ask a two-part question. One is in this area, the personal health record, what's going on in mental health? Secondly, with your example, when you are sequestering information that say relates to mental health, depression, you don't know you're depressed, the way you use SNOMED to search the record for this, could you say a little bit more about how you actually managed to succeed in sequestering the fact that this person has depression given that that word might appear in a lot of places?

DR. CARR: Can you speak up, Larry?

MS. GREENBERG: Could you speak up a bit?

DR. GREEN: I could, but I'm finished.


DR. FRANCIS: … it's actually possible to identify some categories of sensitive information, and do it in a quite fine-grained way which I think is nifty. …

MS. GREENBERG: “Nifty” is in fact the correct technical term.


DR. CARR: … the next one is data integrity. I know that's a word that Bill always struggles with, but it's really a statistical concept not an ethical one.


DR. STEINDEL: … we need the one-page picture, and we ought to look at it that way.

MS. MCCALL: I'm in just ecstatic agreement.


** The meeting continues the next morning with another round of introductions. Everyone says “no conflicts”, until: **

MR. HOUSTON: John Houston, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, member of the Committee, and no conflicts, no known conflicts.

MS. MCCALL: In his subconscious there are many. Carol McCall, Humana, member of the Committee, no conflicts.

No comments: