More than ever, data interoperability has become a paramount importance for healthcare providers who are in need of a quick and accurate way to exchange information.
This is where the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource, or FHIR, comes in. After its introduction, it quickly became one of the most popular methods for connecting multiple systems.
But what is FHIR? It is a standard, created by the Health Level Seven International (HL7) health-care standards organization, that describes data formats and elements (known as “resources”), and an application programming interface (API) for exchanging electronic health records (EHR). At its core, FHIR was developed to connect intricate healthcare systems while using a contemporary, internet-centered approach.
On their website, HL7 describes FHIR’s mission by saying, “The philosophy behind FHIR is to build a base set of resources that, either by themselves or when combined, satisfy the majority of common use cases. FHIR resources aim to define the information contents and structure for the core information set that is shared by most implementations.”
Each resource identifies a specific set of data points, and the goal of FHIR is to allow these resources to be used across health records systems in order to access the data quickly and easily.
HL7 clarifies this on their website, stating, “FHIR resources can be used to build documents that represent a composition: a set of coherent information that is a statement of healthcare information, particularly including clinical observations and services. A document is an immutable set of resources with a fixed presentation that is authored and/or attested by humans, organizations and devices.”
So, what does this mean for the healthcare industry?
There is no doubt that there is an infinite amount of health data that needs to be transferred from system to system. Currently, this transfer is based on encounter based documents, which are often emailed or faxed between providers. While this system works, it is antiquated and not effective when it comes to making decisions and data analytics. The point is to create the most positive outcomes for patients, and that means the right data at the right time.
FHIR allows developers to get out of this encounter-based rut and show healthcare providers the full story. Using API standards, these applications can be coded into an EHR operating system, allowing this information to flow directly into the provider’s workload, avoiding the complicated and time consuming process of extracting data from documents alone. With FHIR, healthcare providers can access a multitude of patient data right at their fingertips, saving precious time that could be used for caring for their patients.
FHIR has the ability to make healthcare more similar to other online interfaces that are simple, easy to use — the ones providers and patients are using in their daily lives.
Patients who see multiple providers, like those who may have more advanced health issues, through the use of FHIR, could no longer need to hassle with multiple patient portals. Instead, all their information can be easily accessed through one single application, not only making their lives easier, but their providers’ lives as well.
As developers and providers alike continually attempt to make healthcare more accessible and effective, FHIR may just be the exact tool to do that. At Vorro we are positioning our clients to leverage the FHIR standards. This is the future of data exchange, and we are prepared to meet this need in the market today. To learn more about Vorro and our complete portfolio of solutions visit https://vorro.net/.