Profiles may be retired when they are found to have not been widely used, or to have been superceded by more robust Profiles.
Typically, retirement does not imply the Profile cannot be used. It is what it is, however, QIBA will no longer expend effort to maintain the document. A retired Profile is generally deprecated and withdrawn from the primary publication page, but still made available in the archives.
Each Modality Committee should plan to evaluate Published Profiles after a number of years to consider if they should be retired.
The decision to retire a profile should not be made hastily, given the work that goes into creating a profile and the fact that it can take some time for the market to become aware of, understand and start making use of a profile.
If it becomes apparent, however, that a profile does not address a valid need or that the mechanism used is impractical, QIBA may consider retiring and/or significantly revising the profile.
<<The following should be revised by QIBA to perhaps include aspects of Performance as well>>.
The proposed Profile Evaluation Form tries to provide a structured way to step through the following questions/steps:
- Has the Profile been adopted? If yes, why review it? If no, continue
- Did we address a real problem? If yes, continue. If no, we have a problem.
- Is the business case valid? If yes, continue. If no, we have a problem.
- Is the technical solution valid? If yes, continue. If no, consider a re-write.
- Is there a better technical solution?
- Do we need to keep it around for some legacy reason?
- If the profile is Adopted and Valid, great.
- If the profile is Unadopted and Valid, consider more marketing and wait.
- If the profile is Unadopted and Invalid, consider retirement/revision.
- If the profile is Adopted and Invalid, hmmm, what now? Fix? Deprecate?
The IHE Integration Statement Registry is an extremely useful tool for tracking the adoption of profiles. Over time, we should get a good feel for the pattern of adoption, when a profile is deviating from the pattern and what the possible cause may be.