10 Things to Know About Latest HL7 and FHIR
When we talk about driving interoperability and converting health IT to more advanced & an open ecosystem, FHIR is playing a major role. As we transition in 2019, FHIR is moving from an underutilized standard to a mainstream capability hype. As we speak, more organizations are gearing up to leverage the potential offered by this technology. FHIR, in a nutshell, stands for Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource. The technology is driving the future by combining the offerings of HL7 V2, HL7 V3 as well as CDA. Do you know that the design of FHIR technology is based on RESTful web service?
In a world where major IHE profiles are solely operated on SOAP web services, FHIR is operated on RESTful web services thus, making operations such as read, create, update and delete possible.
It was 2012 when FHIR specifications were transferred to HL7 international and thus, it was made freely worldwide. HR7 is a not-for-profit organization which was responsible for developing FHIR first. Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources today has become an interoperability standard as far as the electronic exchange of healthcare data is concerned. HR7 is a leading organization which has been accredited by the American National Standards Institute.
The organization develops frameworks that enable sharing, integration and retrieval of healthcare or clinical data. FHIR has emerged as the solution to the continuous plaguing of electronic health records (EHRs) and health IT. The technology empowered health IT developers to develop easy, robust and quick applications in order to exchange or retrieve data from applications.
Why Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR)?
FHIR is crucial to interoperability as government as well as industry demand for standards-based APIs for each and every healthcare system. Before FHIR, there wasn’t any applicable standard available, therefore only proprietary APIs could be implemented back then. Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources enabled the introduction of SMART apps as well as several real-time data sharing mechanisms. It has also eliminated the old non-standard approach which was hindering interoperability.
FHIR is not just a specification, today it has become a highly active community of health IT experts. Since the exception traction of HL7 (Health Level 7) and FHIR came into light, the technology was made free to everybody. Thus, FHIR is open source and the community is developing solutions the world can benefit from.
Let’s move ahead and talk about the 10 trends involving HL7 and FHIR:
It is making integration more seamless than ever. One should understand that as far as healthc are systems are concerned, there are dozens of legacy interoperability standards present. As a matter of fact, you’d find many other HL7 v2 implementations out there but FHIR outranks them all. Why? Well, FHIR is the only specification that comes handy with well-documented mapping for legacy interoperability standards.
Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources holds every possibility of becoming the future of interoperability as it enables discrete data access to EHRs data set.
#2. Data Translation
The constantly growing healthcare community is bringing several powerful libraries and tools into the light which support data translation from HL7 v2 to FHIR or even CCD to FHIR. Hence, we can say even if it isn’t implemented in your system yet, FHIR integration becomes much easier. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what kind of technology you’re using already, you ought to find FHIR components that will support your already deployed architecture.
SMART is an open-standards API came into existence around six years ago. Recently SMART has enabled application vendors to use FHIR too.
There is a lot of buzz about micro-services architecture as well as application stores which are introduced by Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources. Organizations have large monolithic systems in place that are designed to perform each and every function for the individual user. Example – Azure Azure Fabric Application Micro-services
Thus, these types of systems often take a lot of time to implement, deploy and update. But, with the introduction of FHIR, an ecosystem of healthcare applications can be made which can be connected in real-time between different vendors.
The day isn’t far when organizations would be able to choose top-notch components developed by different vendors and integrate the same into the same ecosystem of connected healthcare apps. As mentioned earlier, healthcare apps developed by different parties can be integrated without any hassle and everyone can leverage the potential of the system as a whole.
Since Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources has a well-documented mapping, it has become a piece of cake to be connected to this network of healthcare apps.
FHIR shares the same technology that any web or mobile application would work on. The definition of data elements is all the same. Previous HL7 integration engine standards or specifications were produced in the form of documents which were required to be interpreted by implementer’s as per their software applications.
By following the process of open source development, we can say interoperability has been done differently & rather more effectively with FHIR implementation. Interoperability’s definition has changed over time, today it means accessing health data in multiple systems from one client, one point in real time, respectively.
In the fiscal year 2019, the latest release of FHIR observed a massive adoption. FHIR today contains interfaces as well as applications that have enabled clinicians to access data through mobile apps from their very own systems. Further, through it, patient context can be passed from an EHR to records discovery, identity-matching as well as decision support services, respectively.
The new FHIR release is termed as a promise to render reusable data across the giant epitome of patient care and biomedical research. The technology has started to catch on more than ever and a significant proportion of developers in the world use it as a standard.
In January, Health Level Seven (HL7) released a brand new version of FHIR standard. This time it has been made easier for patient and providers to manage and move the health data without any hassle. FHIR has emerged as a framework which offers the commendable potential to boost interoperability. Now with the deployment of that latest four, the patient data can travel in the form of discrete pieces.
Also, the latest version of FHIR upholds the stability of an array of standard elements. Backward compatibility has been assured by HL7 integration with the latest release. Hence, developers can be more confident now when it comes to using certain elements of FHIR as they won’t be changed.
Today, there are over 500 major corporate members as far as HL7 and FHIR are concerned. Since the publishing of FHIR’s first draft in 2014, Health Level 7 is trying to make more elements backwards compatible. As a matter of fact, the amount of healthcare data has grown exponentially over the period of recent years, and it continues to do so. Not just the clinics or hospitals are producing this data, but a number of healthcare sources are generating data.
In the last couple of years, FHIR has become the leading technology which is enabling us to see all the health-related data in one view. Today the technology is being implemented for a broad range of use cases as we speak.
As we know that Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources combines the top features of HL7 v2, HL7 v3 and CDA, the technology is derived from modular components called resources. It is these resources which are combined together for the purpose of solving administrative as well as clinical problems in a more practical fashion. Even now FHIR is being developed by Health Level Seven.
HL7 FHIR has been planned in such a fashion that it should achieve four interoperability paradigms which are rest, messages, documents and services. The focus of this technology is on persistence when data is spanned amidst various resources.
What comes as a fascinating fact is that HL7 netxtgen mirth Integration specialist FHIR has a concept of “human readable version” of the health data or document. This means that clinics or hospitals can still read the patient data in order to rectify or eliminate any misconfiguration or errors in the data.
By making use of HTML as a fallback display option, FHIR technology carries forwards the human-readable text representation without any hassle. Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) also supports leading web technologies such as XML, JSON, HTTP, REST, Atom and even OAuth. Hence, HL7 FHIR provides flexibility without the need to modify underlying systems or engines.
Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) offers a plethora of benefits to the industry. Where the technology is easy to implement, it contains interoperability state of the art resources which can be utilized for local needs. The technology also holds a very strong foundation in web standards. Not only it supports the RESTful architecture but it also makes possible a seamless exchange of info. The technology tries to bring HIS vendors, EHR & PHR vendors, regulatory agencies, SDOs, quality reporting agencies, healthcare IT vendors, immunization registries, medical imaging service providers and more, under the same roof.