Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR)

Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) is an interoperability standard for the electronic exchange of medical information.FHIR solutions are created from a set of modular components called "Resources". These resources can be easily assembled into operating systems that solve real-world clinical and administrative problems at a fraction of the price of existing alternatives. FHIR is suitable for use in a wide variety of contexts: mobile phone applications, cloud communications, EHR-based data exchange, server communication in large institutional health service providers, and much more.

FHIR, or Fast Health Interoperability Resources, is a proposed interoperability standard developed by the healthcare IT standards body known as HL7. Health Level Seven International (HL7) is a nonprofit accredited standards development organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive framework and related standards for the exchange, integration, exchange and retrieval of electronic health information.

Stakeholders throughout the HIT ecosystem are actively exploring, experimenting and testing FHIR. Part of the enthusiasm surrounding the FHIR is due to the elegant simplicity of the technology.

FHIR is attractive mainly because it is based on a truly modern web services approach (and one used by companies such as Yahoo, Facebook and Google). This approach makes it easier for systems to exchange very specific and well-defined pieces of information, rather than complete documents.

Future growth of SMART

SMART (as FHIR) is an evolving standard, so it is likely to change and extend as it is implemented internationally. The areas where we are likely to see evolution are:

  • Become the "de facto" security standard for FHIR interfaces. FHIR itself does not prescribe a security mechanism, leaving it to the implementer. Given the use of SMARTs of widely accepted standards, it is likely to become the "normal" security mechanism.
  • Compatible with different profiles. As described in this document, SMART is already moving in the direction of allowing the client to describe the profiles it supports.
  • CDS Hooks: a new and exciting development that seeks to standardize how an EHR can invoke the ability of Decision Support in the course of its normal operation. This standard, if widely adopted, could make it easier for a Decision Support service provider to be used by different EMR / EHR systems, another important aspect of the exposure of the advice generated as part of the Precision Medicine initiative.
Benefits
  • Interoperability: the practices are already analyzing the laboratory, radiology and pharmacy information in the health registry.
  • Discrete and consistent data: a key element will be to define discrete data elements that will be transferred between the facilities and the products of the software suppliers.
  • Metadata capacity: the information must be accessible so that it can be used in exchanges with public and private payers to comply with quality measures and anticipate the health needs of the population.
  • Human lectivity: information transfers must address automated processing while offering a readable format for the user for immediate use.