What is FHIR API?
As part of the 21st Century Cures Act, signed by Congress in 2016, a data standard called the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource was created and supported by HL7 International. The intricacy of healthcare data was taken into consideration when developing FHIR, which uses a cutting-edge, web-based methodology to connect several distinct pieces. FHIR API involves the access and exchange of data from healthcare providers to their patients.
Consider how simple it is to find information in real-time on things like travel costs, hotel availability, or delivery tracking. The same goal of FHIR is to enable developers to create uniform "browser" applications that allow access to data regardless of the EHR operating system that supports the user's infrastructure.
The resource is key in this. A FHIR resource can be a standalone data packet with metadata, text, or specific data pieces. It can also be packaged into collections to produce clinical papers, much like the Consolidated Clinical Data Model. The SMART on FHIR API standard allows individuals to download their health records and share readily available health data. It also provides a health app interface based on open standards including HL7’s FHIR, OAuth2, and OpenID Connect. For example, the SMART on FHIR API is built into major EHR products, has been used by Apple to connect its Health App to hundreds of healthcare systems, and is used for apps launched on Microsoft products.
Advantages of FHIR API:
- Focus on Patient’s Experience: When data is shared with patients, they have more control over their records, which boosts their confidence in healthcare services and practitioners.
- Automated Data Structuring: Automated data structuring provides support for service providers and healthcare professionals. Data sharing between patients and providers results in a value-based strategy where the emphasis is on improved care coordination, patient experience, and management, as well as cost savings.
- Enhanced Data Management: Data is stored in a variety of forms and is gathered from several sources with varying dimensions and volumes, including surveys, wearables, medical records, and claims data. By accessing real-time records, which guarantees data accuracy, FHIR helps to improve data management.
- Efficient Collaboration: Patients receive a complete picture of their clinical data through FHIR. A good example is the Health app for iOS from Apple. It obtains patient information via FHIR from EHRs and other medical facilities, combines it with information from the user's phone, and creates a comprehensive picture of the patient's health.
We’re all used to the federal government creating directives that carry a “carrot & stick” approach, but when it comes to the FHIR API requirement, it’s just the stick. Practices can incur severe penalties for noncompliance. The good news is that Criterions has partnered with a 3rd party organization to facilitate the requirements imposed- EMR Direct. Please click here for more information on EMR Direct.
For more information on FHIR API or to sign up, please fill out the form below.
1) FHIR API went into effect for medical practices January 1st, 2023.
2) There is a 90-day grace period before penalties can incur.
3) Additional information can be found here.