Saturday, May 21, 2022

FHIR and the Promise of Interoperability

FHIR stands for Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources

FHIR establishes three main guidelines: the format in which data is stored, the phrasing and definitions for terms, and the data transmission protocols that are supported. Accessing the data and submitting queries is simple thanks to the common language. The value of shared data is maximized by streamlining the format in this way.

FHIR, for example, requires that all patients be referred to as “patients,” despite the fact that other organizations may refer to them as “members” or “program users.” Similarly, what FHIR refers to as “practitioners” may be referred to as “doctors,” “clinicians,” or “care managers” in other contexts.

What is the significance of FHIR as a new interoperability standard?

One of the fundamental ways to allow innovation in an industry is to ensure that data is freely accessible to entities who can think of new ways to create value utilizing that data.

The barrier to entry for new software is reduced because FHIR is based on pre-existing data transmission standards. To put it another way, developers are familiar with data transfer methods, making it easier to adapt those methods to the healthcare industry rather than starting from scratch.

FHIR removes all metadata, which makes sharing information much easier. This distinguishes a person’s interpretation of data from the data itself. It allows for the cleansing, transferring, and interpretation of data between systems while also removing the costs involved with the process.

FHIR also handles some more complex issues. Only non-proprietary data formats are supported, allowing a wider audience to view the shared information. Users don’t have to worry about whether or not the recipient has the right application to open and read an FHIR report. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has also endorsed the system, making the integration approval process easier.

What influence does FHIR have on quality reporting?

The FHIR framework is divided into five layers. Administrative, clinical, diagnostic, medication, workflow, and financial data are all included in Levels 3 and 4, which are the most relevant to quality reporting. The information can be simply queried because it is all in the same FHIR “language” with no metadata.

The challenge with healthcare interoperability has always been that data has been locked behind silos with two strong limitations. One, there are no incentives for data owners to share the data externally, and two, there is no common technology and services that make it easy to store and move the data around.

For example, data analysts can run a report to determine the age of every diabetic patient. This search could be restricted to a specific area or broadened to include the entire United States. While much of this shared data may appear to be digital waste, it can be beneficial when seen through the appropriate lens.

It’s easier to access data about hospitals, health systems, and patient populations when patient, hospital, and practitioner information is all in one place—and reported using the same vocabulary. Data analysts can extract critical insights regarding diagnoses and demographics about different groups for comparison even outside of traditional reporting.

What else is FHIR capable of?

FHIR is primarily meant to be used as a base platform that can be tweaked and developed upon. It enables all users to have a common understanding, ideally leading to genuine interoperability across the healthcare business. FHIR provides a simple starting point for developers to create individual apps and services, rather than a single app that handles everything.

FHIR is a suitable starting point for artificial intelligence (AI) development because of its feature. The data that is utilised to train a machine learning solution is already in a standardised format. Developers don’t have to waste time cleaning data before feeding it to AI—they can just start with the most important facts.

To effectively future-proof your health plan, make sure you construct it around member experience as you prepare your digital roadmap. Whether members are meeting with clinicians via telehealth or managing numerous diseases at home, provide them with a seamless experience. You can respond to a changing landscape with new tools and services that satisfy altering member wants if you build on a platform that uses FHIR-based APIs.

Case Study

Telehealth has seen a significant increase in adoption among patients and practices due to COVID-19. In fact, telemedicine has evolved from conference calls to a technology-rich solution that connects physicians, patients, and clinicians, making healthcare more accessible.

Offering telemedicine shouldn’t mean changing the way you work.

Mirth & FHIR Based Integration between EHR and Telemedicine

Introduction

The US based healthcare practice had Telemedicine and EHR software from two different vendors. The customer wanted patient data to be easily available at the time of appointment in telemedicine software.

KPi-Tech Solution

KPi-Tech architected and developed an interoperability solution for the customer’s requirement using Mirth Engine and FHIR to integrate the Telemedicine and EHR software.

  1. All the patient information and the appointments are sent in HL7 to Mirth from Hospital applications to mirth.
  2. The mirth engine translates this information to FHIR standard (JSON/XML) and then sends to telemedicine software via FHIR API.
  3. The provider now gets all the data to perform appointments in the telemedicine software.

Once the appointment is performed, the next step is to send encounter notes to EHR.

  • The encounter notes are sent via API in FHIR standard to Mirth. Mirth Converts FHIR standard data (JASON/XML) to HL7 MDM documents and then is sent to hospital software (patient documents).

Result

  • The patient data was readily available to the provider at the time of appointment in the telemedicine software. Hence it saved time and effort of looking into two different systems.
  • Past data stored in the patient record improved physicians’ ability to assess the patient’s condition over time, which is key for preventative and long-term care.
  • Furthermore, without EHR-telemedicine integration, physicians would most likely had to input the same information twice. Integrating the two systems allowed for information to automatically go into a patient’s health record, which simplified the data-entry process, reduced the chances of making an error when updating the EHR at a later time and ensured specialists have access to the most current information.
  • Telemedicine-EHR integration created a more fluid, integrated experience for physicians by allowing them to conduct the appointments and access patient records in parallel, saving them time and increasing usability.
  • The integration also ensured easy patient appointment management, to keep the schedule full and increased their ROI.

KPi-Tech Services creates healthcare solutions for a variety of care facilities in the United States, with over 1000 hospitals using our products. For more than 17 years, we’ve been creating healthcare websites and mobile apps for hospitals, pharmacies, physicians, patients, and device makers.

For radical changes in healthcare delivery, KPi-Tech offers simple yet intuitive FHIR interoperability solutions. To enable infrastructural, administrative, and clinical interoperability features delivered on cloud, SaaS, and Web, KPi-Tech uses custom-made frameworks for exchanging, sharing, integrating, and retrieving electronic health information. Our FHIR services are less time consuming to learn, build, and execute.

Robert
Robert
This is Robert William, the content contributor on blogili.com. Working with different sites as a content writer.

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