The Standard

The Official Blog of Health Level Seven® International


FHIR in the Fall

[fa icon="calendar"] Sep 24, 2018 2:20:25 PM / by Virginia Lorenzi

fall-473388-editedHL7 is gearing up for a fall season that is chock full of flexible and convenient FHIR training opportunities for busy people like working professionals and students.


Why Even Learn About HL7 FHIR®?

If you are involved in healthcare IT,  informatics or software development, you need to know about FHIR! it’s important that you understand this new standard as it is providing a tool for transformation and innovation in healthcare.

How does FHIR do this? By making data sharing easy and affordable. In fact, when using FHIR, even small application developers can access and harness information from large healthcare software systems in developing innovation solutions to improve healthcare. This includes solutions for clinicians, patients, researchers, payers and more.

FHIR is not just a standard — it's a movement by a community and a world that is tired of the information just not being there when it needs to be.


FHIR Fundamentals – Welcome to the Workshop

This November, we’re offering our popular HL7 FHIR Fundamentals Course, a four-week online workshop with the tagline “Learn by Doing”. This means that every week, students have hands-on activities that allow them to develop skills in FHIR and apply what they are learning.  And no student is alone – there are open discussion boards and tutors assigned to help each student with any struggle they might have.

The time frame is also a special feature of this program. By training over a four-week period, students have time to immerse themselves in the material and explore FHIR outside of the class, giving them enough time to absorb the concepts to build confidence and skills. At the same time, it’s still a short course, so it fits a busy professional’s schedule. 

Is it just a basic introduction?

Absolutely not! You will really gain confidence in the FHIR standard through this course because you will spend four weeks immersed in the material, the class community, and will be learning by doing.

Do I need a prerequisite?

No prior FHIR knowledge is needed – come as you are! The class starts with the basics. Some familiarity with XML or JSON formats will be helpful since the HL7 FHIR standard makes use of both of these formats. Having software development experience will also help, but is not required.

So what will I learn anyway?

The fundamentals include the following:

  •  How to navigate the specification
  • The FHIR resource concept
  •  The RESTful API and other interoperability paradigms that work with FHIR terminology and profiles. 
All of these are fundamental to understanding how to use FHIR. 

At the end of the course, you will know your way around the FHIR specification, and you will have a strong grasp of the concept of a FHIR resource,  including how to read and write FHIR resources using the REST protocol. You will also be able to explain the different interoperability paradigms supported by FHIR by gaining hands-on experience with messaging, documents and transactions.   

Controlled terminologies such as LOINC and SNOMED CT are important clinical terminologies. This course  introduces how terminology is incorporated in FHIR, and you will practice using terminologies with FHIR. 

Finally, the course includes an introduction to extensions, constrains and profiles. These are all necessary components of real-world healthcare interoperability implementation guides and key to understanding how to implement FHIR solutions.

Instructors are HL7 subject matter experts and working professionals who help you step-by-step, plus:

  • All course materials are available electronically
  • Discussion forums promote student engagement and interaction
  • Self-evaluation quizzes help test for comprehension
  • Tutors provide evaluation and feedback on each module

The class starts November 1 and registration is currently open. Register here.


FHIR Intermediate Series

This online series provides the flexibility of à la carte classes with live and recorded webinars allowing you to build a training schedule that fits your life. It’s also not for the beginner – it’s for students that understand the basics of FHIR and are seeking  more in-depth knowledge. Make sure you have some experience or training before you sign up for these courses. 

This series of elective online courses will allow you to grow your knowledge of FHIR. And as with all HL7 training, the courses are taught by experts in the field who actively work in developing the standard.

What does the program cover?

The program includes how to work with terminology and profiles – standards experts strongly agree that these are two of the most important concepts for standards-based interoperability.  

The series includes five classes:

  • HAPI on FHIR
  • FHIR Profiling
  • Understanding and Using Terminology in HL7 FHIR
  • IHE on FHIR

HAPI – the HL7 Application Programming Interface for FHIR – is an open source API that many developers use in their software when building FHIR solutions.

There is also a course on SMART on FHIR which is a set of open technical specifications built on top of FHIR that incorporate security to ensure secure API access. SMART on FHIR is employed by many EHRs today in their provision of open APIs. 

The final course in the series, IHE on FHIR – Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise, is a leader in the adoption of standards-based interoperability. It is famous for its success in providing implementation guides and encouraging adoption for imaging system interoperability as well as providing the foundation for health information exchanges. This course will explain how IHE specifications now incorporate FHIR.    

Registrations are open and there are class dates starting on October 16, 2018. Register here.


Navigating Tuition Fees

When you get ready to pay for the course, you will immediately notice that members receive a significant discount. Before you choose non-member, check the directory to make sure that your organization is not already a member of HL7.  Many organizations involved in healthcare are already HL7 members, and all their employees are eligible for the member rate.

If your organization is involved in healthcare and is not a member, they might want to consider joining in the HL7 mission and realize these discounts along the way.   

There are special discounts just for students, and that now includes part-timers! Low- and middle-income countries are eligible for substantial discounts as well.  HL7 is interested in educating everyone on its standards. 

After a fall of FHIR training, imagine the cool opportunities of winter.

HL7 is extremely excited about the success and potential of this new generation standard. By learning from the experts and then using what you have learned, you can help to create a world in healthcare where the information is there when it needed.

Topics: FHIR, HL7 education, HL7, SMART on FHIR

Virginia Lorenzi

Written by Virginia Lorenzi

Virginia Lorenzi is an HL7 instructor, Manager, HIT Standards and Collaborations at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Associate, Department of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University.

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