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What’s FHIR and How Will It Drive Healthcare Interoperability?

Posted by eClinicalWorks on 12/13/19 7:00 AM


With the holiday season fast approaching, people everywhere will turn to online marketplaces like Amazon® or eBay® to purchase gifts for friends and family. Now, imagine the frustration that would ensue if these companies made a decision to only allow access through a single browser and on a specific type of mobile device.

Users want the freedom to be able to access a website from any browser, on any device, and on any operating system. This same need for independence and ease of use carries over when providers need to access healthcare data between EHRs. FHIR is the means of achieving this.

What is FHIR?

The Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) allows developers to build standardized browser applications that lets providers access data from any EHR.

The Resource is the foundation of FHIR. All exchangeable content is defined as a resource. These resources, either on their own or combined with others, are used to solve most common use cases.


“FHIR is a modern interoperability standard that is more flexible and more functional than the standards in current use in healthcare today. It is bi-directional, flexible to different levels of granularity, and it supports pluggable apps.”

— Micky Tripathi, the CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative and co-chair of the HL7 Advisory Council


What’s special about FHIR

Most of the health information that is exchanged through interoperability is document-based. Document-based interoperability is an essential component when it comes to clinical care, but without context, a document can only get you so far.

FHIR is different from traditional interoperability solutions because it:

  • Allows developers a platform to create apps that can be plugged into an EHR
  • Provides the physician with data that moves directly into their workflow
  • Helps form a more detailed patient story

As healthcare continues to become increasingly mobile, building apps into the EHR with the aid of FHIR could reduce the time and frustration.

Interoperability for you

Striving for a seamless and effective transmission of patient data between EHRs is one of the major components of the eClinicalWorks EHR. eClinicalWorks is a contributing member of the CommonWell® Health Alliance and implementer of the Carequality Interoperability Framework, and data exchanged through these networks are based on FHIR transactions.


To learn more about our interoperability solutions


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Topics: eClinicalWorks

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