(FHIR) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources

Health Level Seven International (HL7) has many Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) resources on the HL7 website including a FHIR overview:

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has created several FHIR Fact Sheets.

What is FHIR and how is it being used?

It allows healthcare information, including clinical and administrative data, to be available securely to those who have a need to access it, and to those who have the right to do so for the benefit of a patient receiving care.

Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) is a Health Level Seven International® (HL7®) standard for exchanging healthcare information electronically. The healthcare community is adopting this next generation exchange framework to advance interoperability. Electronic health records (EHRs) represent patient data in different ways (e.g., medications, encounters) and FHIR provides a means for representing and sharing information among clinicians and organizations in a standard way regardless of the ways local EHRs represent or store the data. FHIR combines the best features of previous standards into a common specification, while being flexible enough to meet needs of a wide variety of use cases within the healthcare ecosystem. FHIR focuses on implementation and uses the latest web technologies to aid rapid adoption.

The Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard comprises three main components:

  1. FHIR Resources: These are the foundational building blocks of FHIR. Each resource represents a specific type of healthcare information, such as patient data, laboratory results, or medication details. For instance, the Patient resource contains information like the patient’s name, address, allergies, and conditions. FHIR resources ensure standardized representation and seamless data exchange between systems12.
  2. FHIR APIs (Application Programming Interfaces): These well-defined interfaces facilitate interoperability between different healthcare applications. APIs allow systems to communicate and exchange FHIR resources effectively. They play a crucial role in enabling data sharing and integration across various healthcare platforms3.
  3. FHIR Profiles: Profiles customize base FHIR resources to meet specific use cases. They define additional constraints, extensions, and business rules for resources. By creating profiles, healthcare organizations can tailor FHIR resources to their unique requirements while maintaining interoperability with other systems1.

In summary, FHIR resources, APIs, and profiles collectively enhance healthcare data exchange, making it faster, more efficient, and standardized.