A Preview of What’s on FHIR at HIMSS

Feb. 16, 2017
On the eve of a HIMSS conference that will have plenty of sessions highlighting the HL7 FHIR standard, the Argonaut Project announced the publication of its FHIR Data and Document Query Implementation Guide.

On the eve of a HIMSS conference that will have plenty of sessions highlighting the HL7 FHIR standard, the Argonaut Project announced the publication of its FHIR Data and Document Query Implementation Guide. It also announced its plan for 2017 includes expanding its focus to other key use cases using the FHIR and OAuth standards.

Healthcare Informatics asked Charles Jaffe, M.D., CEO of HL7, to give a preview of what’s on FHIR at HIMSS in Orlando. First, he spoke about the significance of this Argonaut announcement.

“The same people who were committed to the Argonaut Project in 2014 are still at the table. There has been attrition and the support continues,” he said, adding that there has been a commitment by other organizations outside the original Argonaut community. “I think it is pretty exciting. Every time I turn around I hear about another organization implementing FHIR. The large global health IT vendors are now committed to making it part of their deliverables. These leaders, beyond the EHR community, have now transitioned to supporting FHIR, and there will be discussions about that all over the convention floor at HIMSS.”

The Argonaut Project is a collaboration of vendors and providers to accelerating adoption of FHIR and OAuth standards by creating road-tested implementation guides accessible to developers seeking to build interoperability capabilities according to modern internet architectures. By making interoperable the 21 data elements of the “Common Clinical Data Set” defined by the Office of the National Coordinator, the Argonaut data and document query implementation guides provide an important common foundation for virtually any FHIR-based implementation.

Argonaut founders, including Accenture, athenahealth, Cerner, Epic, Meditech, Surescripts, and The Advisory Board, are basing their FHIR implementations on the Argonaut guides. In addition, two nationwide health information networks are adopting Argonaut FHIR-based services. Carequality has already implemented a preliminary version of the upcoming Argonaut FHIR Provider Directory Implementation Guide, and the CommonWell Health Alliance has announced that it will build FHIR specifications into their core services using the Argonaut FHIR implementation guides for data and document query, and provider directory. (There will be an Argonaut Project panel session at HIMSS, Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 10:30 – 11:30 am.)

In a Monday, Feb. 20, talk on “HL7's Vision for 2017 and Beyond,” Jaffe is going to focus on HL7’s outreach, including the FHIR Roundtable, to be held at Duke the second week in March, and the Partners in Interoperability at Georgia Tech later in the month. “What you will see at both of those meetings is an acceleration of FHIR adoption that we had never envisioned,” Jaffe said. “For example, at the Partners meeting you will see a track on the payer community talking about value-based care. They have embraced FHIR, and many of the third-party payers as well as CMS are realizing that the kind of data you can get out of a clinical encounter and capture with FHIR is far more valuable in predictive modeling, artificial intelligence and analytics than you could ever get with claims data.”

Mayo Clinic on FHIR

Also on Monday, Feb. 20 from 5:00 - 5:30 p.m., there will be a presentation on how the Mayo Clinic is using FHIR and SMART as cornerstones of how it drives interoperability and innovation. Mayo is actively implementing open standards including FHIR and SMART integrated with an enterprise Application Lifecycle Management toolset, and enterprise data, API and identity platforms to offer a standards based innovation toolkit to Mayo informaticians and clinical IT teams. Mayo is also working on app-store strategy for the distribution of interoperable, sharable clinical applications with patients, employees, referrers and hospital systems in the near future. (All of these events are happening at the HL7 booth (943).