June 27, 2017
I was recently honored to be part of a webinar, All Stars Webinar Panel: Profiles in FHIR, sponsored by healthsystemCIO.com. Others on the panel included Shafiq Rab, MD, the SVP/CIO of Rush University Medical Center, and Charles Jaffe, MD, PhD, CEO of HL7 International. During the talk, we really dug deep in the current and future state of Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), the standard for exchanging healthcare information electronically.
During the discussion I was happily able to “geek out” and talk about what we see as the evolution of the FHIR® standard over the next 18 months. Without getting into the technical details, what this means for Infor healthcare clients, or any health system, is that with the FHIR® standard there are going to be more ways to share more information. While those using Infor Cloverleaf today realize the benefits of an enterprise class, secure and highly scalable and reliable integration suite, the FHIR® standard will help to open the doors to a more agile digital ecosystem in healthcare, accelerating the engagement of providers and consumers, and helping to drive to the “Quadruple Aim,” which we at Infor are defining as improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction); improving the health of populations; reducing the per capita cost of health care; and lastly, incorporating a way to improve the experience of providers—physicians, nurses, and everyone who directly supports cares of the patient.
That’s what I tell the developers I work with, too. Ultimately, the technology is about the care of human beings, which is really what our work is all about. FHIR® enables interoperability within health systems and across care domains while unlocking promising new data sources, like that generated through remote monitoring, all of which can help provide a rich data environment to apply analytics and reveal insights in to care. Ultimately, this can help improve accountable care goals, and boost precision medicine and overall population health.
That’s also a hook to getting leadership invested. The key, Rab and Jaffe say, is getting cross-functional leadership buy-in, and there’s no better motivation than putting it in terms of efficient quality patient care. To begin, first start by asking the question: What is the problem we are trying to solve? It may be anything from the patient care experience to operational efficiencies, from scheduling to workflow management. Whatever the case may be, armed with the power of the FHIR® standard, new and innovative solutions are being developed to address your needs.
It’s an exciting time for FHIR® and experts are predicting that by the end of 2017, the industry will see a storm of activity around this standard with even more resolve to link patients, providers, and payers in order to realize the opportunity of value-based care. While FHIR® is “simple” as far as healthcare standards go, healthcare and interoperability inherently is not. Keep in mind that there is a whole FHIR® community out there willing and able to help get you started. I am actively engaged in that community and I encourage anyone with questions about the FHIR® standard, Infor Cloverleaf, or interoperability in general, to reach out to me with any questions.
And, if your healthcare IT systems aren’t yet fully FHIR® enabled, but you would like to incorporate an innovative new app that speaks FHIR®, we have a product coming this year that can help you out. It is called the Infor FHIR Bridge and we are looking for beta partners right now with which to explore new opportunities to improve care and operational efficiencies. Reach out to me if you would be interested in incorporating FHIR® powered innovative solutions into your health system today.
-Corey Spears, Director of Healthcare Interoperability Standards, Infor Healthcare