What is FHIR and why its great news for healthcare

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We've been working on an FHIR-compliant REST API with IBM IIB that allows interoperation between a Laboratory Information System (LIS) and a Hospital Information (HIS) System with EHR (Electronic Health Record), here's why we think FHIR is a step in the right direction for healthcare interoperability 

First, let us describe what FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) is. For our readers familiar with HL7 v2.x or HL7 3.x you are in the right frame of mind if you start thinking of FHIR as the new HL7 4.x.
FHIR is a new draft standard created by the HL7 organization (Health Level Seven International) as a response to make the HL7 standard easy to implement, use and overall ADOPT at all levels of healthcare interoperation among all members of the healthcare value chain.
FHIR is, as its predecessors, not something that you can "install" or "order," instead is a composed of three parts: General documentation, implementation, and a resource list.
While we'll let you read all the details on the FHIR site, we want to quickly point out that the magic sauce of FHIR lies in two areas:

  • First, the concept of resources as basic units of interoperability and modular components that can be assembled into working systems to solve clinical, administrative and infrastructural issues. FHIR has resources for administrative concepts such as patients, providers, organizations, and devices as well as a variety of clinical concepts including problems, medications, diagnostics, care plans and financial concerns, among others.
  • Second its usage of modern day RESTful architecture programming interface (API). This way if your healthcare system can consume and produce a web service, hopefully, REST, you are on your way to making your systems work and "talk" the same language if you adapt to a standard like FHIR.

    With those two areas clear the usage of HL7 FHIR with IBM Integration Bus is, therefore, evident.
    With its newfound ability to create, operate and maintain a full REST API, and play nicely with XML schemas allowing validation and DFDL creation and mapping, IIB and FHIR are made for each other.

    We believe FHIR is a great innovation in the world of healthcare.

    If you want to learn more about our mobile healthcare interoperability and infrastructure, our team will be happy to discuss your specific requirements.

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