5 Things to Know About HL7 FHIR

A new term spreading (almost like fire) through the healthcare interoperability world is HL7 FHIR, pronounced as “fire.” Here are the Top 5 things I think you should know about this upcoming standard many hope will help solve many current issues in interoperability:

  • FHIR stands for Fast Healthcare Interoperable Resource.
  • FHIR combines the best features of HL7 V2, HL7 V3, and CDA, while leveraging the latest web service technologies.
  • The design of FHIR is based on RESTful web services. This is in contrast to the majority of IHE profiles which are based on SOAP web services. With RESTful web services, the basic HTTP operations are incorporated including Create, Read, Update and Delete.
  • FHIR is based on modular components called “resources,” and these resources can be combined together to solve clinical and administrative problems in a practical way. The resources can be extended and adapted to provide a more manageable solution to the healthcare demand for optionality and customization. Systems can easily read the extensions using the same framework as other resources.
  • In March 2012, the FHIR specification was transferred from Grahame Grieve, creator and architect, to HL7 International and was made freely available. Grieve started work a year prior in response to outcomes from the HL7 Fresh Look task force. FHIR is still being developed by HL7, but the first Draft Standard for Trial Use (DSTU) should be available by the end of 2013.

FHIRHere is a video of Dave Shaver, Corepoint Health CTO and HL7 International committee co-chair, discussing HL7 FHIR with Grahame Grieve, architect of the standard and fellow HL7 International committee co-chair, at HIMSS13:

Watch live streaming video from hibc at livestream.com


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Rob Brull

Rob Brull is the product manager for Corepoint Health. He has worked with software products for over 15 years as both a product manager and sales engineer. Past companies and organizations include Tyco Electronics, Deloitte Consulting, and various distributors of software monitoring and control products. His main focus is to ensure his solutions enable customers to simplify healthcare integration complexities with user-friendly yet powerful software capabilities. This includes meeting applicable Meaningful Use requirements as well as fully supporting related healthcare standards such as CCD, CCR, and greenCDA. Rob is also a Certified HL7 CDA Specialist.