What is FHIR?
by A. Waqas
FHIR is the short form of Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources and it is known as the standard for any kind of electronic data exchange of the medical records.
It is a product of HL7 which is an international non-profit organization providing frameworks and standards for information sharing in the healthcare sector.
The organization is accredited by the American National Standards Institute.
The standard resource first surfaced in 2014 on trial basis.
It enabled the It experts to create various products for the healthcare sector along with protecting the patients’ data and it quickly became an international standard for medical data exchange in the coming years.
So why FHIR became a standard in very few years on a global scale and why is it important to set such a standard? We would try to find out the answers to these questions now.
Importance of FHIR
Although it was an experimental attempt at the start it quickly gained the confidence of the biggest Electronic Health Record vendors in the United States of America.
These vendors include Epic Systems Corp. and Athena Health Inc.
In February 2017 after being implemented in various health institutions all across America it became the standard procedure of electronic medical record sharing all over the globe.
Working of FHIR
The concept of building an FHIR is quite complex.
There are multiple resources involved in it which play their part in resolving different problems in the healthcare sector.
FHIR is the provider of various software development resources used for solving the problems of patients, and the service providers.
It also assists in providing clinical concepts for various clinical problems, medicines, diagnosis, and financial issues of the healthcare organization.
It is specifically designed for the web and all the resources are based on XML, JSON, HTTP, Atom, and OAuth structures.
It is possible to retrieve the history of any specific person or the procedure by using these tools.
It can be used through a mobile application, cloud communications, institutional healthcare service providers as well as data sharing through EHR systems.
FHIR Break Down
Basically, FHIR is divided into three parts.
There is a general documentation part, an implementation part, and a resource list.
The general documentation part gives the definition of the resources including the definition of data types, code, and language formats.
The implementation part is all about the implementation of the code and the resource list contains the details of the resources being used in the process.
All the resources contain the text representation of the resources for better understanding.
As a tool, it can be really useful for the healthcare organizations to keep the patients’ data safe as well as use it in a much better way.
In the past, there have been a number of medical record breaches reported especially in the USA but with this standardized data exchange, the breaches can be stopped.
As all the data is encrypted after getting into the system it is not possible to access the information if you don’t have the key for decryption purposes.
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