Lighting the FHIR, HL7s new major interoperability standard
Publication date: Jun 15, 2012
Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) is a new HL7 standard, which has just changed status from a skunkworks project into a major new draft interoperability standard for healthcare.
So first of all: what's FHIR?
FHIR (pronounced as "fire") can be described as (a qoute from the FHIR specification itself): "Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) defines a set of "resources" for health. These resources represent granular clinical concepts that can be exchanged in order to quickly and effectively solve problems in healthcare and related process. The resources cover the basic elements of healthcare - patients, admissions, diagnostic reports, medications, and problem lists, with their typical participants, and also support a range of richer and more complex clinical models." The FHIR specification also documents how a RESTful interface (based on underlying standards such as HTTP and Atom feeds) can be used to exchange resources.
In May 2011 Grahame Grieve and others with HL7 noticed that the uptake of HL7 version 3 messaging was relatively low - there are significant hurdles towards its implementation. Grahame created the initial draft of FHIR (then called RFH) out of frustration - he tried to answer the question how one would approach interoperability if one were to apply cross-industry best architectural practices, combined with the good (and not so good) aspects of the HL7 version 2 and version 3 standards. His original RFH announcement contains a summary of some of his architectural decisions.
During subsequent HL7 meetings there was significant interest in the (now renamed) FHIR standard. The standard was significantly extended by a core team of developers including Grahame Grieve (Australia), Lloyd Mckenzie (Canada) and Ewout Kramer (the Netherlands). The FHIR project has been embraced by HL7 at various organizational levels, with various working groups comitting time towards the definition of resources.
- The FHIR standard has reached a level of maturity where the infrastructural issues have been discussed and documented. In the near future we'll see the first resources being defined (and balloted) within the organization.
- There are some open issues related to the exact license under which the specification is to be published. The draft license is based on an OMG license. Although one would prefer to use a standard open license there is an issue in that they're aimed at software, and not at standards. HL7 has stated that the FHIR standard, up to and including the first normative specification (which will probably be created next year), can be used for free by any implementer.
- A FHIR Connectathon will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland, USA on Saturday, September 8, 2012. A preparatory/informational conference call for (potential) participants will be held on Tuesday, June 26, 2012, at 16:00 EDT. The list of participants that has already signed up to the connectathon is impressive - as is the list of applications that have already implemented FHIR (which is still a standard in flux at this point in time).
As Ringholm we have a lot of confidence in the success of this new standard - we'll be offering a FHIR training course starting November 2012.
PermaLink to this page: http://www.ringholm.com/column/lighting_the_FHIR.htm
Index of columns:
- News from the FHIR DevDays in Amsterdam (Dec 15, 2016)
- Next XDS Release (Oct 27, 2016)
- Five years of FHIR (Aug 11, 2016)
- Interoperability projects in Ireland - FHIReland (Mar 14, 2016)
- 2016 FHIR Jedi Calendar (Jan 06, 2016)
- Top 10 HL7 videos watched in 2015 (Dec 24, 2015)
- Update from the trenches on CDA R2.1/R3 and HL7v2. (Oct 15, 2015)
- FHIR DevDays - UK GP System APIs (Sep 16, 2015)
- IHE XDS - testing and implementation tools (Aug 25, 2015)
- Most often implemented IHE Profiles (Jun 08, 2015)
- Why we sponsor the HL7 WGM (May 10, 2015)
- FHIR in Paris (Apr 21, 2015)
- Mapping HL7v2 messages to FHIR. (Apr 13, 2015)
- Analysis of CDA R2 testing tools - most requirements are neither tested nor respected. (Feb 13, 2015)
- HL7 and IHE in Sweden (Feb 08, 2015)
- 2015 FHIR Chiefs Calendar (Jan 07, 2015)
- The Merry FHIR Choir caroling the 12 Days of Christmas (Dec 09, 2014)
- Chicago FHIR Update (Oct 13, 2014)
- Internationalization of HL7 (Sep 25, 2014)
- New XDS Advanced training course on offer by IHE Services and IHE Academy (Jul 14, 2014)
- Recent and Future developments of the DICOM standard (Mar 06, 2014)
- Top 10 HL7 videos watched in 2013 (Jan 02, 2014)
- Report from the HL7 WGM in Cambridge (Oct 16, 2013)
- Documenting the history of HL7 (Sep 03, 2013)
- Histology Lab Device Automation using HL7 version 2 (Jul 23, 2013)
- HL7 FHIR Elevator Pitch (Jul 15, 2013)
- Interoperability Standards - the no-sales pitch (Jul 09, 2013)
- HL7 UK - new landscape, new opportunities (Jun 26, 2013)
- Validation and error correction at the IHE Connectathon (Apr 25, 2013)
- CDA Implementation Guides - (not) invented here (Apr 17, 2013)
- Usage of IHE Profiles (Feb 25, 2013)
- 10 year anniversary - Dutch Ringholm HL7 v2 training courses. (Feb 19, 2013)
- About IHE Academy and new IHE training courses (Jan 12, 2013)
- CDA implementation experiences in the UK (Dec 04, 2012)
- Musings on free HL7 IP (Oct 01, 2012)
- HL7 Connectathons (Sep 09, 2012)
- Renovate HL7 version 3 (Aug 03, 2012)
- Frequency of use of HL7 message types (Jul 24, 2012)
- Lighting the FHIR, HL7s new major interoperability standard (Jun 15, 2012)
- Reflections on the HL7 membership model - the affiliate life cycle (Dec 28, 2011)
- Thinking like an OWL reasoner (Sep 17, 2011)
- RFH (Resources for Health): HL7 version 3 taken to the next step (Aug 18, 2011)
- What's so great about the HL7 organization? (Aug 04, 2011)
- Kerndossier: een Nederlandse versie van CCD (Dutch, May 03, 2011)
- A HL7 RIMBAA update (Apr 21, 2011)
- Timezone Hotel (Mar 29, 2011)
- HL7 and openEHR are cooperating (finally) (Jan 21, 2011)
- Increasing demand for IHE training courses (Dec 18, 2010)
- Context issues with the IHE QED profile (Dec 15, 2010)
- The changing role of HL7 country organizations (Jul 16, 2010)
- Implementing HL7 version 3 - the book (May 06, 2010)
- Adding openness to a closed world (Feb 09, 2010)
- How to lower the hurdle for HL7 v3 implementers (Jan 21, 2010)
- HL7 v3 deployment statistics (Dec 17, 2009)
- There's Trouble in Paradigm (Sep 25, 2009)
- Internationalization of HL7 (Sep 24, 2009)
- HL7 UK signs deal with Ringholm to deliver HL7 v2/v3 training courses in London (Sep 17, 2009)
- The use of HL7 in South Africa (Aug 20, 2009)
- The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam (Apr 17, 2009)
- The HL7 UK AGM and RIMBAA (Apr 16, 2009)
- The HL7 Wiki reaches 2000 pages (Mar 02, 2009)
- The HL7 roadmap for CDA R3 and the CCD (Jan 17, 2009)
- HL7 Affiliates Meeting in Orlando (Jan 11, 2009)
- Swiss and Dutch HL7 News (Dec 31, 2008)
- Devices and Prizes (Nov 22, 2008)
- HL7 in Norway: a situation report (Sep 02, 2008)
- Russian whitepaper (Jul 09, 2008)
- The HL7 Interoperability Conference - IHIC 2008 (May 30, 2008)
- HL7 creates a RIM Based Application Architecture (RIMBAA) group (May 18, 2008)
- Notes from the HL7 WGM in Phoenix (May 08, 2008)
- Germany embraces CDA eReferral document specification (May 02, 2008)
- HL7 v3 RIM based applications: an unintended side effect (Jan 19, 2008)
- Collaborative Tools (Jun 21, 2007)
- HL7 ist Pflicht in der deutschen Telematikinfrastruktur (German, Mar 16, 2007)
- HL7 based Tree inventory system (Jan 30, 2007)
- The link between HL7 and Open Source Software (Jan 06, 2007)
- Workflow Bribery (Sep 15, 2006)
- Timezones in HL7 (Jan 23, 2004)
- Controlled vocabularies: "@*%!!!" ? (Sep 01, 2003)
- Trusting the other Party (Nov 01, 2002)
About Ringholm bv
Ringholm bv is a group of European experts in the field of messaging standards and systems integration in healthcare IT.
We provide the industry's most advanced training courses and consulting on healthcare information exchange standards.
See http://www.ringholm.com or call +31 33 7 630 636 for additional information.
Rene is the Tutor-in-chief of Ringholm.