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Hospital Systems Select FHIR For Interoperability

by Scott Mace

Health Leaders Media

Article excerpt

How Fast Interoperability is Speeding Innovation in Healthcare

An unlikely trio—a children’s hospital, an academic medical center, and a regional hospital system just converting from a home-grown enterprise EHR to a commercial one—is blazing a trail that is beginning to allow data to flow in discrete bits to spur innovation and interoperability across all of healthcare.

Our take

Interoperability: Faster With FHIR?

Boston Children’s Hospital, Duke Health and Intermountain Healthcare are some of the first health organizations in the nation to implement HL7 technology, commonly referred to as Fast Health Interoperability Resources (FHIR). FHIR is an international standard for the transfer of data—an important missing link in the ongoing quest for interoperability. Boston Children’s had previously developed a program called SMART (Substitutable Medical Applications and Reusable Technologies) to aid in interoperability, and received $15 million from the ONC in 2010 to help develop the project. They’re now running SMART on FHIR applications and other hospitals—like Duke Health and Intermountain—are taking notice. Should you be taking notice too?

Boston Children’s work has been instrumental in helping to address barriers that prevented data sharing across platforms. Both Cerner and Epic will be including SMART on FHIR applications in their app stores. FHIR makes it easier to connect information across various systems than other programs have. It may not represent a replacement or single solution to data transfer issues, but it’s proving to provide some real benefits that health organizations are taking advantage of.