The Organization Welcomes Daniel Vreeman, D.P.T., Viet Nguyen, M.D., and Diego Kaminker
The Next Generation Standard Has Transformed Health Information Technology Across the Globe
HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®), the widely adopted, open-source standard from the HL7 International community, celebrates 10 years of international development and implementation. With the ability to streamline the many variations in health information technology (HIT) systems and the capacity to accommodate modern technology, FHIR is at the forefront of healthcare interoperability. In keeping with HL7’s vision of a world where access to health data is readily available to everyone whenever and wherever it is needed, FHIR creates connections between different parts of the healthcare system to facilitate the secure, real-time exchange of data and, ultimately, improve patient care.
Since its inception, FHIR has fostered a collaborative culture. HL7 International Chief Executive Officer Charles Jaffe, M.D., Ph.D., recalls, "The development and adoption of FHIR was advanced by a remarkable and committed international community. The impact that FHIR has had on global healthcare was driven by an unprecedented level of collaboration that today continues to grow." Grahame Grieve, principal at Health Intersections, FHIR product director at HL7 and the inventor of FHIR, agrees. “Most people think about FHIR as a technical specification, but I look at it first of all as a community.”
Alliance of government, private sector and philanthropic partners aims to use widely accepted healthcare standard to help advance public health
A new initiative launched by HL7 and jointly supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) seeks to use widely recognized data exchange standards to help advance public health. The effort, called Helios, intends to strengthen the capacity and streamline data sharing across all levels of public health using the HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability (FHIR®) standard.
“Public health has risen in urgency and importance over the last 18 months,” said the ONC’s National Coordinator for Health IT Micky Tripathi, PhD, MPP, “FHIR accelerators have had great success in engaging implementers as early as possible to help identify and overcome longstanding barriers to interoperability. The Helios alliance is a market-based implementation collaboration that will help to ensure FHIR development is coordinated and focused on real world public health needs.”
The initiative is the latest to use HL7’s FHIR Accelerator program, which seeks to speed the development and availability of FHIR to deliver better data that leads to better health outcomes. The Helios alliance represents an ambitious new use of the FHIR Accelerator program, pulling together a diverse group of state, tribal, local, territorial, and Federal public health agencies, private and philanthropic sector partners, and other groups interested in the equitable and effective use of data for the advancement of public health.
HL7's Chief Technology Officer, Wayne Kubick, will retire at the end of this year. We want to take this opportunity to formally announce it and begin recognizing the many accomplishments and contributions he made to the betterment of HL7 International and its entire global community.
Wayne's responsibilities will be assumed by two new C-level officer positions, a Chief Standards Officer and Chief Implementation Officer, and he will remain in an advisory role into early 2022 to support the transition.
We would like to express our deepest appreciation and thank Wayne for his dedication and unparalleled commitment to HL7 International over the past six years. His leadership has been instrumental in advancing HL7’s mission and vision of a world in which everyone can securely access and use the right health data when and where it is needed.
If there is one word that describes Wayne’s work philosophy at HL7, it is Essentialism. He introduced us to the concept when he joined the organization and has been a staunch proponent of incorporating Essentialism across the board, encouraging the organization to focus its efforts on its highest contributions to the industry while letting go of non-essential work.
Health Level Seven® (HL7®) International recently announced the appointment of three new members to the HL7 board of directors to serve a two-year term: Lori Evans Bernstein, MPH, co-founder and president, HealthReveal; Karen DeSalvo, M.D., MPH, chief health officer, Google Health; and Carolyn Petersen, MS, MBI, FAMIA, senior editor, Mayo Clinic.
“These leaders represent a broad spectrum of global stakeholders who are committed to advancing health through information technology. We are delighted to welcome them to the HL7 board of directors,” said Charles Jaffe, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of HL7. “Their strategic expertise and diverse experience will contribute greatly to HL7’s goal of improving the quality of care and reducing costs by overcoming the barriers to interoperability.”
Social Determinants of Health Data Matter for National COVID-19 Response Efforts
The Gravity Project is pleased to announce the publication of its consensus recommendations for food insecurity, housing instability and homelessness data elements. The Gravity Project is a national cross sector grassroots informed collective charged with building consensus data elements and data standards for the capture, exchange, and use of social determinants of health (SDOH) information. The Gravity food insecurity and housing data elements are the result of a year of development with input from its over 1,000 participants with intentional representation from key stakeholders such as patients, providers, community based organizations, payors, technology vendors, and federal and academic food insecurity and housing subject matter experts.
Social determinants of health—the circumstances in which we are born, grow, live, work and age—are estimated to account for 80-90% of health. There is growing interest from the healthcare sector to integrate social risk evaluation and intervention to advance the triple aim: improved health outcomes and quality of care while containing costs. In 2018, Gravity founders University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Social Interventions Research and Evaluation Network (SIREN) conducted an assessment of existing SDOH data and found much work was needed to advance the documentation and use of this data. Enter, the Gravity Project. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), a Gravity Project sponsor, noted the growing recognition across healthcare that by capturing and accessing SDOH data during the course of care, providers can more easily address non-clinical factors, such as food, housing and transportation insecurities, which can have a profound impact on a person’s overall health.
HL7 collaborates with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) to support eCR Now through the use of HL7 FHIR in the nationwide initiative formulated for the rapid roll-out of automated electronic case reporting (eCR) from EHRs to state and local public health agencies.