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Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR)

What is the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR)?

The FHIR is a standard for exchanging healthcare information electronically. Developed by the healthcare IT standards organization Health Level Seven International (HL 7), FHIR aims to make it easier to share and exchange healthcare data between different systems, such as electronic health record (EHR) systems, health information exchanges (HIEs), and other healthcare applications.

FHIR allows for the exchange of discrete data elements known as “resources,” which represent specific types of clinical or administrative information, such as patient demographics, medications, allergies, lab results, and more. Each data element included in the FHIR has its own tag that acts as a unique identifier. Using a standardized “browser” application (mimicking the internet), users can access the data no matter how the EHR represents and shares information. The resource can be an individual packet of information, which includes text metadata or data elements, or it can be bundled into collections that create clinical documents.

How does the FHIR improve healthcare?

The FHIR aims to improve interoperability, allowing multiple users to access the same quality data simultaneously and instantaneously. It offers a standardized approach to data exchange, facilitating the seamless sharing of information across various healthcare organizations and systems. It ultimately aims to improve patient care, enhance clinical workflows, and support healthcare innovation.

Not only does FHIR aid the improvement of care at the time of service, but it also makes it easier for healthcare professionals to evaluate care after it occurs, noting where improvements can be made.