By Darrell Woelk – Green Room Technologies CTO
Will you meet the year-end requirement to update and provide your customers with FHIR-based certified API technology?
If you work in any part of the healthcare industry, you have probably been hearing this year about the HL7 FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) data exchange standard.
That’s because the ONC 21st Century Cures Act Final Rule, designed by ONC to put patients in charge of their health records, requires certified health IT developers to update and provide their customers with FHIR-based certified API technology by December 31, 2022.
But did you know that 2022 is also the 10-year anniversary of the launch of the HL7 project to develop the FHIR standard?
The HL7 standards organization was created in 1989 and FHIR was the third generation of healthcare standards developed by HL7. FHIR was designed not only to leverage the 20 years of HL7 knowledge about healthcare information technology but also to create an architecture that leverages the internet technologies and tools that were prevalent at the time in other industries.
And, over the last 10 years, the FHIR standard ecosystem has expanded to include more than just a format for the exchange of healthcare data. The SMART on FHIR framework defines an interoperable protocol for authenticating, authorizing, and launching third-party developed software apps from EHR systems. There are also open-source and commercial implementations of database systems for storing and querying FHIR data.
Our experience with FHIR over the last 10 years has shown that the government and private industry can collaborate effectively on market-driven technology development.
I have been participating in the FHIR standardization process since 2014 and, during that time, have designed and implemented multiple applications using FHIR and SMART on FHIR. I have also been an invited guest lecturer at the University of Texas, teaching a new generation of students about the vision behind FHIR and the software tools that will make them valuable employees in the healthcare industry.
The ONC 21st Century Cures Act has created both challenges and opportunities for our Green Room Technologies clients. Contact us if you want to talk about how your company can leverage the FHIR ecosystem and the 21st Century Cures Act to enhance your technology base and expand the market for your products.