Overall this helps to improve the patient experience, and helps to reduce the waiting time spent within the healthcare system for a patient.
What are the benefits to implementers? Familiar tooling, and technologies, such as XML/JSON, HTTP, REST, SSL, OAuth are used. Predefined resources, and APIs which allow implementers to focus on the core application functionality. There is extensive documentation, samples, and reference server implementations available. Plus, an active, and supportive global community is available 24/7, it is possible to get answers to questions within minutes. Open Source code libraries are available like HAPI (Java) and Furore (.Net). These libraries are freely available to any one. FHIR is mobile friendly, which is a core competency of any modern technology.
What are the benefits to healthcare organizations, especially hospitals? Most vendors are committed to FHIR, this is beneficial as it increases the range of applications able to be deployed, which should lead to faster deployments, lower cost interoperability, and reduced vendor lock in. As FHIR is adopted by source systems, it is easier to swap out non performing systems. Many healthcare organizations have teams developing FHIR applications specifically designed for their organizations needs, which can communicate with larger systems. This provides consistent interfaces that can be used immediately within organizations.
What are FHIR’s current challenges? Mapping from existing data sources to FHIR can be difficult, there is work involved with getting FHIR talking to the back end connections. You still need to think about security, and the need to use external standards. Also, alignment between different parts of the sector is complicated, work flows may need to be altered to make use of the FHIR capabilities. I am sure these challenges will be addressed in the future with the current development that is underway.
What does the future hold? There is enormous interest locally, and internationally about FHIR. It promises to revolutionize sharing of healthcare information, and now is the time for clinicians, and patients to be more involved, so become a part of the FHIR phenomenon.
For more information about FHIR, and how it is enabling smarter exchange, and acquisition of data, mobility, and new types of connected solutions. Read a white paper on the subject by Dr. David Hay here, or watch a webinar where he and Graham Grieve the FHIR Project Lead, from Health Intersections speak here.
Watch the short video below of Dr. David Hay, Medical Doctor, chair of HL7 New Zealand, co-chair FHIR Management Group, Product Strategist Orion Health.
He talks about how FHIR is sparking innovation in health information sharing, and how this will benefit clinicians, patients, implementers, and healthcare organizations.
Connect with Orion Health FHIR experts Damian Leopard and Drew Ivan at the HL7 Value-Based Care FHIR Summit in Chicago, April 11-12, 2017! Click the link below!