The adoption of the FHIR standard for the exchange of healthcare data has been a critical first step towards interoperability across the healthcare ecosystem. Testing at FHIR Connectathons and in FHIR Accelerators has proven the effectiveness of FHIR for data exchange. And third-party software access to local EHR patient data using SMART on FHIR and CDS Hooks is now increasing the innovation necessary to improve patient outcomes.
But searching for and safely accessing a patient’s healthcare data from a distributed, heterogeneous network of healthcare providers remains a difficult challenge. I recently attended a FHIR at Scale Taskforce (FAST) workshop organized by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC). The goal of the FAST taskforce is to identify gaps that may prevent the scalability of FHIR-based applications, investigate possible solutions to closing the gaps, and evaluate pilots that can accelerate the adoption of FHIR on a large scale.
The FAST taskforce is investigating scaling problems that are not covered by the FHIR Accelerator projects including barriers such as patient identity, security, patient and provider directories, and testing and certification that may prevent the scaling of the solutions from FHIR Accelerators.
Green Room Technologies works with software and device companies to help them understand and leverage the evolving FHIR-based infrastructure as part of a strategy for developing and marketing innovative healthcare products.
In future blogs, I will share some of our insights into the future impact of FHIR in both the exchange of patient data and improving patient outcomes.