In Part 1, we reviewed what HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) is by now. However, a cloud of mystery hovers around FHIR and the healthcare industry has been reluctant to change gears. At least that was FHIR’s story a few years ago.
Case Studies on FHIR
This case study compares FHIR to the older standard CDA, underlining the flaws in CDA. The goal was to map out problems and identify gaps in each standard’s methods. That said, CDA sends complete documents that you have to search once you have it while FHIR lets you search for specific criteria, so FHIR is clearly better.
Key takeaways from “A comparison of two Detailed Clinical Model representations: FHIR and CDA:”
- Older CDA formatted data can be transformed into FHIR compatible resources
- It may get complicated to make the transition if you rely on converting CDA data
- Choosing the best standard is critical
This case study looks at some often-overlooked aspects of digital healthcare. The goal was to get an idea of how FHIR performed when integrated into monitoring systems. The study used data from over 130 patients at 14 different healthcare provider locations.
Key takeaways from “Applying FHIR in an Integrated Health Monitoring System:”
- Battery life may be the next healthcare hurdle
- The FHIR API kills batteries slower than previous methods of real-time monitoring
- FHIR developers need to keep security a priority
23. Integrating Structured and Unstructured EHR Data Using an FHIR-based Type System: A Case Study with Medication Data
This case study examines the use of two common data types and how they affect the performance of FHIR. It touches on a lot of other parts of a scenario where multiple data types may come into use, but for the purpose of this article, the FHIR data is the important part.
_Key takeaways from “Integrating Structured and Unstructured EHR Data Using an FHIR-based Type System: A Case Study with Medication Data:”__
- Standard FHIR modeling is enough for most use cases
- An outline of setting up an NLP pipeline
- Highlights of creating a FHIR setup albeit focused in this case study
This case study looks at ways a patient aid system can reduce the workload on providers by utilizing FHIR data to make recommendations on care. The study was conducted using a system with a FHIR core that collected data and made recommendations over a specific time period.
Key takeaways from “Patients Decision Aid System Based on FHIR Profiles:”
- Patients need to be included in their healthcare decision making
- FHIR is the optimal standard for patient aid systems
- Patient aid systems and FHIR can reduce a provider’s workload significantly
25. Profiling Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) of Family Health History based on the Clinical Element Models
This case study examines the usefulness of FHIR profiles to exchange data based on a family’s medical history rather than a single patient. It demonstrates the power of FHIR but also highlights some gaps in current interoperability standards.
Key takeaways from “Profiling Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) of Family Health History based on the Clinical Element Models:”
- Family medical history under FHIR is only a matter of creating the profiles
- Improving patient care may rely on access to family medical data
- FHIR still has some kinks to iron out
This case study comes with some good talking points on how policies, services, and processes get setup in modern healthcare, and why FHIR is changing some of that for the better. It calls for the much-needed improvement in the way providers use FHIR to access patient data.
Key takeaways from “Services, Processes, and Policies for Digital Health: FHIR Case Study:”
- Providers may find current FHIR apps too technical
- We need to find better ways to express data
- The recommendations in this paper apply to more than FHIR
This white paper investigates how well FHIR integrates with i2b2 and clinical data. This test was aimed at answering some questions about FHIR’s ability to ingest data and add some stress to it. The results were mostly positive, and FHIR utilized the database and clinical data as expected.
Key takeaways from “A Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) layer implemented over i2b2:”
- Underlines how adaptable FHIR can be
- FHIR works well with the HAPI server’s Java engine
- The hard part is building the data pipeline
The beginner stages tend to get skipped over in favor of hurriedly accomplishing a task or getting in on the ground floor of new technology. Primers like this one can help you skip some of the clutter you don’t need to learn and focus on understanding the technology, so you can get to work. In this case, a primer on FHIR answers most of the questions you may need answers to before you get started.
Key takeaways from “Corepoint Health HL7 FHIR Primer:”
- Find out where FHIR might work best
- Find out how FHIR compares to other standards
- Learn more about the future of FHIR
FHIR does an excellent job of ingesting data from various sources in many formats. This paper talks about ways that Direct, an existing federal standard for the exchange of health care data, can work cohesively with FHIR.
Key takeaways from “Direct, DirectTrust, and FHIR: A Value Proposition:”
- Learn how FHIR and Direct can communicate
- FHIR can overtake C-CDA
- Supporting FHIR is at a critical point
This short white paper outlines how interoperability affects a patient. It takes you through each step of Stephan’s story beginning with his visit to his primary care provider and ending with Stephan signing in from home and reviewing his provider’s notes and other data pertaining to his health.
Key takeaways from “EMR Direct: Stephan’s User Story – Connected Care Through HL7 FHIR:”
- Developers are making huge strides with FHIR
- Primary care and emergency care mesh easily under FHIR
- Patients need better access to their health records
Getting started is rarely easy, especially when new technology comes into play. Guides written by people that have suffered through the trial and error portion of learning can make a difference in how fast you learn and if you learn in the correct order. This getting started guide helps you overcome those hurdles and also provides informative resources that can help.
Key takeaways from “FHIR: Your Guide to Getting Started!”
- Get insight into getting started and resources to help you
- Learn about the current state of FHIR
- Find out why adopting FHIR seems stalled
Clinicians and patients are becoming more involved with decisions than at any point in time thanks to new technology like FHIR. However, learning tools and aids often focus on providers and developers specifically which leaves core support and patients on their own to learn.
Key takeaways from “FHIR for Clinicians:”
- An excellent over of FHIR and how it works for end-users
- Learn why FHIR is easier to adapt to compared to older standards
- Learn how clinicians can be a core part of developing for FHIR
If you’re a developer, this white paper might help you find avenues for revenue along with helping you understand FHIR and where it fits in the healthcare realm as well. SMART technology, which helps you build apps faster using open source tools, combined with the FHIR API is a powerhouse of healthcare data exchange.
Key takeaways from “Impact on Healthcare IT and Market Opportunities:”
- FHIR is free to use and develop
- FHIR can be searched like Google or a Word document
- FHIR can handle data outside medical data and bridge gaps
This white paper is from 2017, so some of the information it predicted has already come to pass. In fact, all the predictions, save those intended for the next decade, have been correct. Its value lies in the overview of FHIR and the way it explains the power of FHIR.
Key takeaways from “Pioneering the Use of Clinical Data With FHIR:”
- A side effect of FHIR might be penalty avoidance for compliance issues
- FHIR opens healthcare and patient up like searching for a sweater on Amazon
- Mobile apps are taking center stage and helping patients get more involved in their care
Modern healthcare understands how patient data and family medical history can help providers and patients make better decisions. This white paper gives a very detailed account of how FHIR can be utilized to help providers offer better care and lessen their workload by letting technology educate patients while giving them access to their EHR.
Key takeaways from “Promoting interoperability with FHIR:”
- FHIR makes sharing healthcare data simple
- FHIR can be searched like Google
- FHIR almost eliminates research by providing specifics instead of a complete medical record
This white paper is packed with information on the SMART on FHIR Open Platform. SMART helps you develop apps using open source tools which eliminates a large portion of the cost and speeds up development. FHIR provides an API that basically allows you to search a patient’s health data the same way you might search for an item on Google or Amazon.
Key takeaways from “SMART on FHIR Open Platform:”
- You need to learn more about SMART if you’re a developer
- FHIR makes health data searchable
- FHIR is easier to develop for than any other standard
Innovation is critical to the evolving ecosystem of healthcare and electronic health records. Data stores are growing at breakneck speeds due to increases monitoring and wearables, yet the data is largely dormant. FHIR can help unlock health data and allow patients and providers to make better decisions.
Key takeaways from “Sparking Innovation in Health Information Sharing:”
- Health care needs more innovators
- There’s a giant stockpile of medical data no one is using
- Learn how FHIR can help sift and utilize warehoused data
We like predictions and looking toward the future. Innovation is partially future-centric, because the innovations we make today affect how things get done in the future. Philosophy aside, this white paper looks at the future of interoperability and outlines how FHIR is a big part of it.
Key takeaways from “The future of interoperability: Web APIs & HL7 FHIR:”
- Learn how innovation conquered previous healthcare data problems
- Learn more about web APIs
- The FAQs answer some questions everyone is asking
Blogs Covering FHIR
39. AEGIS Blog
AEGIS bills itself as a thought leader in healthcare. Their blog covers a lot of topics including FHIR. It’s worth browsing to learn more about how FHIR is changing healthcare.
Three posts we like from AEGIS’s Blog:
- FHIR Testing Helps Healthcare Projects Accelerate Adoption
- Healthcare Interoperability Testing with FHIR Just Got Easier!
- Ready, FHIR, Test! Set your sights on testing
This blog is packed with healthcare information from industry news to technology insights, plus some excellent articles on FHIR and interoperability. We’re sure you’ll find more to read aside from the posts related to FHIR.
Three posts we like from AYASDI Blog:
- Using the HL7 FHIR Standard for Clinical Variation Management
- The Trust Challenge – Why Explainable AI is Not Enough
- The Extraordinary Value of Dark Data
This blog is huge and filled with technical information. The healthcare section isn’t the primary focus, but the healthcare posts we found were good and worth taking a few minutes out of your day to read.
Three posts we like from DXC.technology’s Blog:
- Six ways the patient data explosion is turning healthcare inside-out
- FHIR agility: HL7 is dead, long live HL7!
- FHIR puts actionable clinical decision support into the hands of physicians
42. FHIR Website
This is technically a website and not necessarily a blog, but this is the best place to find resources and learn more about working with FHIR. The resources are excellent, and you’ll find some training opportunities as well. However, a lot of the information is aimed at developers, so it gets technical.
Three useful resources we like from the FHIR Website:
43. Firely Blog
When we searched this blog for FHIR information, the search results ended up being 12 pages worth of content. You may find a little marketing in some of the posts but most of them are packed with useful insights.
Three posts we like from Firely Blog:
- FHIR, the coolest of the uncool
- FHIR is no longer just about interoperability
- Startups in health, here’s your chance to learn FHIR
44. Hay on FHIR
This is a very technical blog aimed at developers. Actually, calling it technical is an understatement. If you’re looking for ideas on developing for FHIR or trying to solve a problem, the answer may be on this blog. It covers things from writing code to creating endpoints.
Three posts we like from Hay on FHIR:
The blog as a whole comes with information relevant to anyone in healthcare. We focused on the FHIR resources and some if it covers often-overlooked topics like the people behind FHIR and other things that technically don’t affect healthcare, but without the developers, FHIR may not exist.
Three posts we like from Healthcare Intersections:
- Clarifications about the FHIR Trademark
- The 3 Legs of the Health Informatics Standards Process
- #FHIR and Cancer Patient Empowerment – Mike’s story
46. HL7’s Blog
HL7 has more going on than just FHIR, so you’ll find the content on their official blog is varied. However, it’s one of the best places for innovators to learn about FHIR and upcoming events or training. They offer FHIR training for all skill levels, but you may have to wait for some of the classes to open.
Three posts we like from HL7’s Blog:
- What’s Next for Blue Button 2.0 and HL7 FHIR?
- HL7 Publishes FHIR® Release 4
- Collaborations Can Change the World
Most of the posts on FHIR are a few months old, but the information is still solid. Much of the content you find on FHIR leans toward the positive, so it’s nice to see some of the cons getting discussed as well.
Three posts we like from InterSystems Blog:
- Is Your Healthcare Organization Prepared for the Data Tsunami?
- Bottled Up: How Better Information Flow Can Empower Pharmacies and Patients
- Looking to 2018: How the newest innovations are reliant on a tried-and-true standard
48. Light My FHIR
This blog is a little dated, but much of the information is still valuable to developers. You’ll find workarounds and some technical information on coding things for web-based apps and the FHIR API. It’s all technical information aimed at people developing apps for FHIR.
Three posts we like from Light My FHIR:
- Maximizing Reuse in Healthcare Standards
- The Need for Faster Standards Development
- FHIR Profiling Made Easy
Forums Discussing FHIR
This is arguably the most popular forum for FHIR developers on the web. However, the forum isn’t very well organized, so get your keywords ready and plan to use the search feature a lot. The forum is active, and several users are typically online.
Three posts we like from FHIR Community Forum:
- Condition for simultaneously ordered diagnoses
- How to do business intelligence using FHIR
- Representing both short and long description in Coding
The HAPI Java server is one of the first things you find when you search for FHIR on Google after you scroll past the HL7 links. Their Java server has a lot of uses, and they’ve released a version aimed at FHIR that comes with some pre-configured options to help you get started. Their Google Group is the discussion point for all things HAPI, but many of the questions related to FHIR overall.
Three posts we like from HAPI Google Group:
- How to tell which patientId is using a particular practitioner
- Best way to author FHIR Profiles Can it be generated from Code?
- How do I print a JSON patient from server
Don't miss Part I.