Sharing is caring. We’ve all heard this phrase, right? Well, this also applies to healthcare data, too. The past decades where healthcare has become more and more digitized means that there’s more and more electronic data being housed. As interoperability becomes increasingly inevitable, there are some real growing pains that we all have encountered while trying to share this information to others, even those within the same institution. Because vendors, governmental agencies (even those within the federal government), private and public institutions were all speaking their own (data) language, trying to exchange information was a bit of a headache, to say the least. HL7 has recognized this and have proposed an interoperability standard known as FHIR, or Fast Health Interoperability Resources. What would it look like? Here’s an excerpt from this govhealthit.com article:
“FHIR is attractive primarily 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, well-defined pieces of information, rather than entire documents.Today in HIT, the common standard is one based on what is known as C-CDA, or Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture. And unfortunately, C-CDA is designed to transfer entire documents, rather than a single piece of data or a simple list.
This means that today, when a physician requests just one piece of information about a patient, the system often needs to transfer multiple documents to fulfill the request. This process can often be inefficient, because a physician may have to search through many pages of information to find just one piece of needed data.
FHIR, on the other hand, makes it simple for anyone to receive only, and specifically, the piece of information requested. FHIR also allows access to smaller or “granular” data elements that are not included in some clinical documents.”
Is this going to revolutionize healthcare data like HIPAA did back in the early 2000s?