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Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR, pronounced “fire”) was developed by HL7 International, a not-for-profit standard developing organization, to address the challenges of providing and sharing healthcare data.
What is FHIR?
FHIR is a standard describing data format and elements (known as “resources”) and an application programming interface (API) for exchanging electronic health records (EHR). It is a protocol that facilitates interoperability between different health care systems. This simplifies providing healthcare information to providers and patients on various devices and can be easily integrated into existing systems.
No data blocking
Another component of FHIR is that data blocking is no longer allowed in EHR systems. Data blocking is the act of a provider intentionally withholding Electronic Health Information (EHI) from an individual. Providers will be required to release electronically all data upon request.
Electronic Health Information (EHI)
FHIR is a push toward making patient medical data easily accessible instead of locked away in a variety of specialized standalone systems for each provider. For example, EHI can be imported and exported via Apple Health. Patients can have access to their data from multiple providers through the application on their personal devices to make transferring and viewing data more accessible.
Who is FHIR for?
- Patients. Patients have a right to access their own data and share it with whom they want to. FHIR is used to power cross-provider health information exchanges.
- Providers. With tools like SMART on FHIR applications, providers are less locked into a single platform. FHIR can also benefit the provider when it comes to integration. Under new regulations, providers can have all the data centralized making data transfer not only more efficient but also decrease data integration costs.
- IT Departments. FHIR provides a standard communication framework for building data warehouses and doing ad-hoc development without having to write custom interfaces to a variety of vendors.
Here at Gaia, we are implementing various methods of accessing patient data by integrating FHIR technology into our software. We strongly believe in giving patients control over their own data and making caregiver’s jobs more efficient.