HL7 interface connectivity uses this well-known standard for connecting healthcare applications and exchanging data. While many EHR vendors have adopted it over the years, the implementation has not yielded the fruit of “deep interoperability.”
This led to the development of FHIR – Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources. This data exchange standard blends the most useful features in HL7 versions 2 and 3 and CDA with many improvements.
Let’s take a brief look at some of the benefits your organization can gain by implementing HL7 FHIR.
1. FHIR Is Vendor-Agnostic
For a long time, the HL7 standard did not improve healthcare interoperability because of differences in implementation. Each EHR vendor is free to implement the standard with various types of customization.
However, in a bid to ensure that data sharing improves interoperability, some of the big brand EHR vendors agreed to work on a new HL7 Argonaut project. This project is an interoperability implementation community formed by leading provider organizations and health IT vendors to speed up FHIR usage in healthcare data exchange.
The Argonaut Project’s primary purpose is to quickly develop an API and data services specification based on FHIR. Consequently, new apps based on the FHIR standard have been built, and they are vendor-neutral.
2. Low Cost of Implementation
If you need to do a lot of development work in-house, HL7’s FHIR is a cost-effective option. Since it utilizes many well-established web technologies, your developers will already have the basic skills needed to use it.
FHIR is a developer-friendly standard. It uses well-known web technologies such as REST, HTTPS, XML, OAuth, and JSON.
The web development skills used for most web-based apps are transferable to FHIR apps. This means that it will be easier and faster to build a team of developers for your projects without expensive hiring or training.
3. FHIR Is Easy to Use
Developers with basic website development experience will be up and running with FHIR within a day. First, all the specifications for the FHIR standard are 100 percent available without any restrictions. HL7 standards were not free to access till 2013.
FHIR interfaces are easy to develop if you can follow the examples in the specifications. And with a good integration engine, you can develop interfaces even faster.
4. FHIR Is Flexible and Adaptable
A significant challenge for managing healthcare standards is handling the variations caused by different healthcare processes. A massive number of fields and options add complexity to the implementation of healthcare standards.
FHIR solves this problem by providing a simplified framework that extends resources and describes their use via profiles. Any system may read all resources, but each application can provide meaning and control with profiles.
5. FHIR Offers Several Improvements on Older Standards
FHIR focuses on rapid implementation. Simple interfaces can be up and running within a single workday.
There are many implementation libraries and tons of examples to fast-track development. Just as it is written on the official HL7 webpage, FHIR is “interoperability out-of-the-box.”
Get Up to Speed With HL7 Interface Connectivity
To implement HL7 FHIR interfaces most productively and affordably, you need an interface engine. Contact Lifepoint Informatics to discover how EMRHub can help you build robust, secure, and fast interfaces for your healthcare organization. Give us a call now at 877.522.8378 to schedule a free demo or consultation.