HL7 FHIR: A Standard You Can Use Today!
A Recap of the HL7 FHIR Applications Roundtable
“A standard is not used because we created it. It is a standard because people use it.”
As so many of the smiling attendees attested, this was indeed a very different kind of meeting.
The premise was to show how widespread HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) usage already is, and the answer was – more than we could have ever imagined.
The FHIR is spreading
Although FHIR is currently designated as a Standard for Trial Use (STU), it has already captivated the development community who is drawn to its advanced, elegant technology platform. The roundtable, like most FHIR events, cements the impression that interoperability through FHIR is not a pipe dream, but a burgeoning reality.
The meeting opened with a rousing talk from Dr. Shafiq Rhab on “FHIR as Enabler” describing how its already transforming communications and processes at Hackensack University Medical Center. We then transitioned into the meat of the meeting – a series of thirty-four 15-minute speed-dating sessions (including two of the recently announced winners of an ONC challenge grant and SMART on FHIR) with applications and tools covering development and testing environments, patient and provider-facing apps using FHIR, genomics, clinical decision support, and many more application areas. We also learned how FHIR is being supported by major technology providers such as Microsoft, Computer Associates, and Cerner and academic institutions including Harvard, Duke, University of California San Francisco and Georgia Tech.
What was most impressive was that this roundtable only scratched the surface of what’s really going on. Many attendees commented on other activities already underway – several in the audience who learned about the meeting after the submission deadline spoke of their own apps and their desire to get their chance on the podium.
The innovative meeting format was continually fast-moving, dynamic, and fun for all with a palpable sense of energy and community, and the invigorating appeal of a pep rally before the big homecoming game.
My read of the overall sentiment after the meeting was this:
“FHIR is real, FHIR is already in widespread use, FHIR offers an unprecedented opportunity to transform the way we access and use healthcare information. More FHIR!”
What's next for FHIR in Fall 2016
HL7's 30th Annual Plenary & Working Group Meeting in Baltimore, MD on September 17 - 23 will feature several FHIR-related activities:
HL7 FHIR Fundamentals 4-week online course will be offered October 6 - 27 and November 10 - December 8.
The HL7 FHIR Institute online will be offered October 24 - 28, registration opens soon. Watch the HL7 website for more details.
An in-person HL7 FHIR Institute will also be offered in November of this year.
Save the date for the next HL7 FHIR Applications Roundtable - Updated December 13, 2016 ...
A quick poll indicated unanimous support for repeating the whole experience, and plans are already underway to hold the next roundtable at Duke in Durham, NC in March 2017. We expect to see a lot more progress by then since it’s now clear that FHIR is catching on like, well, fire.
Update: Reigstration is now open for the second HL7 FHIR Applications Roundtable taking place March 7 - 8, 2017 at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, NC.
Speaker submissions are also open between December 13, 2016 - January 31, 2017.