In recent years, many hospitals have invested large sums in hospital information systems (EHR). Therefore, there is naturally the opinion that these systems must support all processes in the clinical workflow, so that one solution is available for all requirements (monolithic approach).
In reality, it often looks different. The HIS often come from the "billing corner" and have a hard time with innovations and networking, i.e. interoperability. As a rule, HL7 interfaces are used. These not only have to be set up anew for each customer - and are therefore expensive - but are also increasingly costly and complex for IT administration. At the same time, it also means for the hospitals that specialised systems, innovative technologies and expert solutions cannot simply be tested, since a real assessment is often only possible with data from the HIS via an HL7 interface, which then has to be set up and maintained.
Thus, interfaces are one of the biggest entry hurdles for innovative health technologies in hospitals today!
This dilemma was also recognised in the HL7 organisation and the proven standard was replaced and further developed by a more modern approach.
Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR, pronounced "fire") is the answer to the increased requirements for networking, mobility, data protection and data security in the healthcare market. For the first time, the interface to the HIS is standardised in such a way that it fits all FHIR-compatible systems once it has been created. In addition, all FHIR-compatible systems can use a common database (FHIR repository) and thus massively reduce the maintenance efforts of the IT departments. A third advantage is the possibility of offering a kind of clinical app store with FHIR technology. Similar to a smartphone, providers can deposit their FHIR apps there, which can then simply be tested by the clinics if they are interested and then purchased via them. These apps work directly and productively without the need for time-consuming installation and setting up of interfaces.
Among other things, these advantages have ensured in the USA that most HIS providers (EHR) there have corresponding FHIR interfaces. In Germany, too, such interoperability is increasingly being promoted and demanded by current legislation.
Already in 2015, we at nursIT Institute recognised this development and not only developed our nursing expert software careIT on the FHIR basis, but also offer an FHIR repository along with the app store "Apps4Care". This opens up the new, standardised world of health innovations to every clinic with a one-time connection to the EHR. FHIR-compatible systems can simply be connected, tested and used "plug&play".
In this way, operators and users decide again which supporting technologies they want to use and not the existing technological possibilities offered by the existing systems.
If you would like to know more about FHIR and how you too can use this technology, please contact us.
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