The HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard (or FHIR) is revolutionizing how healthcare information is managed, moved and exchanged.
The Internet has made managing data faster and easier than ever. Healthcare information, on the other hand, has lagged behind the trend because of its sensitivity and complexity. For example, some health data is still transmitted in physical format (chances are, you’ve used a fax machine lately). This limits providers’ ability to coordinate care, perform data analytics, and integrate IT environments in a cost-effective way.
FHIR establishes API standards that change the way electronic health records (EHR) move throughout healthcare environments. Existing systems can be adapted for easy integration. Developers can build plug-and-play applications that interlink data sources with systems.
FHIR is built using “resources”—compartmentalized units of information that can be combined to build functionality. By combining resources in the right way, organizations can answer virtually any business need in an integrated, data-friendly, and cost-conscious way.
Here are four reasons why FHIR is great for healthcare businesses.
#1: FHIR is Developer, Device, and REST-Friendly
FHIR is free to use and highly flexible, making it easy to adjust solutions as needs change. Openly available libraries and tools make development simple. It scales with healthcare organizations as their needs expand. Interfaces can be set up in as little as one day.
And it’s built on common web technologies, like HTTPS, XML, REST, OAuth, and JSON. This makes it easy to add and train developers without needing to filter for more niche technology skills.
Many of these web technologies are mobile-friendly, especially REST APIs. They set the stage for mobile applications that take advantage of health data. Round-the-clock health monitoring? Care on the go? The door is open to use mobile devices to promote better patient health.
#2: FHIR Has No Vendor Lock-In
Many of the leading EHR vendors are involved in the Argonaut Project, which focuses on developing interoperable standards across the healthcare market.
The result is vendor-neutral applications that can be leveraged in enterprises’ environments, bringing with them new features—no more proprietary systems and interfaces that limit what functionality health organizations can leverage.
#3: FHIR is Great for Care Quality and Costs
Providers can utilize all kinds of data, including information provided by Internet of Things devices like wearable fitness trackers, health equipment, cell phones, and more. All this information improves patient outcomes and helps quash the cost of providing care. It also makes maintaining IT environments simpler and cheaper, creating cost savings on the business side.
Patients gain the customer personalization that’s become so popular in industries like retail and banking. Even if they’re seeing multiple healthcare providers, patient data can be shared in a centralized record, tailoring care to the patient’s needs without drops in communication. Plus, reduced costs on the provider side help make care more affordable for patients.
#4: A Partner Who Knows How to Start a FHIR
Many organizations are finding it difficult to implement FHIR and take advantage of its benefits. The Prolifics Innovation Center has developed a FHIR solution called Prolifics Quick FHIR. It enables organizations to build out their own system and get connected quickly and easily.
Our solution is built on our own proprietary IP using IBM software. There’s no need for your IT personnel to acquire and integrate software, then implement FHIR. Our solution does the heavy lifting for you, saving your enterprise time and costs.
About the Prolifics Innovation Center
The Prolifics Innovation Center leverages our decades of experience to build next-generation solutions like Prolifics Quick FHIR.
We strive to provide the leadership and vision that keep organizations competitive. Our experts work closely with our customers to incorporate feedback and tailor our solutions to real-world business needs.
If you would like to learn more about our Prolifics Quick FHIR solution or become part of our Innovation Center, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Matt Garst leads sales for Digital Automation and Cloud Solutions for Prolifics. Matt has over 20 years of experience in sales in the information technology industry. Most recently, he was responsible for the IBM software business within the US Army and Missile Defense Agency.
Prior to his role at IBM, Matt was the Vice President of Worldwide Sales for Enterprise Information Management, where he led a sales team focused on software and professional services. Matt began his career as a soldier in the U.S. Army where he served six years in the Infantry.