OASIS to consider new draft emergency data standard

A draft emergency messaging data specification that could help first responders get critical information such as a hospital’s bed availability and capacity during emergencies has been sent to an international standards organization for review and approval.

The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) Emergency Management Technical Committee will consider the Hospital AVailability Exchange (HAVE) draft Extensible Markup Language specification.

Comcare managed the initial development of HAVE, which was then approved by the Emergency Interoperability Consortium (EIC). Both national, nonprofit groups — Comcare and EIC — are working toward developing interoperable communications and standards in the emergency response community, submitted the draft standard to OASIS.

HAVE would help facilitate quicker information exchange regarding medical or health organizations and their resources in daily incidents, mass casualty events and preparedness exercises, according to Comcare and EIC officials.

They said currently many 911 centers, emergency managers and health departments can only get such critical information via phone calls.

The specification was developed during a nine-month “open consensus” process that first involved a broad group of experts and officials from the emergency response community and then the Homeland Security Department’s Emergency Data Exchange Language Standards Working Group.

Previously, the OASIS committee approved the Common Alerting Protocol, an open data standard for exchanging messages and alerts, such as hazard warnings and reports. It is currently reviewing the Emergency Data Exchange Language, which is a suite of XML data-sharing standards for all emergency professions.

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