EHR TO HL7 FHIR INTEGRATION

INTRODUCTION

You will definitely be asked if your program supports electronic health record EHR integration if you are creating healthcare software. The majority of EHR suppliers provide a number of integration entry points into their EHR system. These differ in terms of specifications, technology, and the particular data made available by each. Additionally, many EHRs have their own independent third-party apps that can provide information and particular functions to organizations looking to interact with their EHR.

HL7 FHIR can be used to integrate EHRs. Here are a few advantages:

  • The FHIR specification is 100% open without a login or any other restrictions, in contrast to other HL7 standards that were not freely available until 2013.
  • EHR supports RESTful architecture, which provides extra tools to quickly interface with the data source in a variety of methods, such as GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE commands. REST APIs make sharing simpler and easier.
  • FHIR makes data exchange simple because each resource is connected with a special identification.
  • FHIR is user-friendly for developers; it makes use of numerous cutting-edge web technologies that developers are already accustomed to, including HTTPS, REST, XML, JSON, ATOM, and OAuth.
  • Developers can set up a straightforward interface and start using it in a matter of days because it is quick and simple to implement. This can be completed even more quickly by using the best interface engine.
  • Resources are the foundation of FHIR, and each resource has a human-readable component, a common definition and method of representation, and a set of metadata.
  • Because it makes use of technologies like HTTP REST and JSON, which mobile devices may easily implement, FHIR is well suited for use on the go.
  • The FHIR open-source standard has a sizable network of professionals who are prepared to assist you with challenging issues.

THE HL7 STANDARD

An international set of specifications for APIs designed to transfer administrative data between software applications for the delivery of healthcare is outlined in the Health Level 7 (HL7*) standards. Health Level Seven International, the non-profit organization that created the standards, was established in 1987 with the goal of advancing international health interoperability. Visit the HL7 standards introduction page for further details.

WHAT STANDS FOR FHIR?

The Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) set of API standards describes the data formats and components that APIs must have in order to transmit EHRs between applications. Health Level Seven International developed the FHIR standards in 2012 in response to the market’s demand for procedures for exchanging health data that were more effective.

WHY FHIR IS IMPORTANT?

HL7v2, which is now the most used technique for sharing clinical data amongst healthcare applications, poses significant problems for us. In addition to paying license costs for the installation and use of integration engines, organizations shell out astronomical sums of money for each HL7 interface. Why is an integration engine necessary? This is why:

There is no open standard like HL7v2. To be able to use HL7 content professionally, you must join the organization and pay dues. Additionally, HL7v2 is an old standard. It was created in the late 1980s, a time when many modern conveniences like cell phones and email weren’t even a thing.

This led to the pervasive “I’ll just do it my way” attitude, which sparked the HL7v2 variation outburst, or as I like to say, “Welcome to the jungle!”

Given the aforementioned problems, FHIR does provide a number of advantages over earlier standards:

Open source: This is a significant advancement and the main attempt to increase the openness and accessibility of healthcare integration. By making it public, a sizable and active community was established that includes businesses, vendors, and developers.

RESTful: REST-based design has many advantages. An API that follows the REST principles does not require the client to be familiar with the API’s structure. Instead, whatever data the client needs to engage with the service must be provided by the server.

Upstanding documentation:  It is specifically fueled by the RESTful API approach, and as a byproduct, it enforces good documentation.

Supports current web standards: FHIR makes use of the following foundational technologies: XML, JSON, HTTP, Atom, OAuth, and REST. All of them have undergone rigorous testing in both scaled and rigorous security environments.

Extensible: In the RESTful environment, extensibility makes it possible to simply add new features to address particular use cases without affecting the foundational models.

Composable: Composability makes it possible to compose practically any request from basic models or resources and related extensions.

Human readability: text representations are provided for each resource, with HTML serving as a backup display alternative. This is crucial since many systems use simple textual or document-based data for sophisticated clinical information.

SECURITY

HL7 FHIR does not describe any security-related features and is not a security protocol. HL7 FHIR does, however, outline the exchange protocols and content models that must be utilized with different security protocols that have been established elsewhere. Transport Layer Security (TLS), such as HTTPS, should be used to safeguard all production data exchanges.

For the purpose of supporting access control management, HL7 FHIR defines a Security Label infrastructure. FHIR may additionally specify a group of tools for managing access control, however at the moment none are specified. To use HL7 FHIR, users or clients must be authorized; for web-centric use cases, OAuth is advised, necessitating the subsequent necessity for an OAuth profile.

KPi-Tech offers simple yet intuitive FHIR interoperability solutions for radical improvements in healthcare delivery. To enable infrastructure, administrative, and clinical interoperability features deployed on cloud, SaaS, and the Web, KPi-Tech uses specially created frameworks for exchanging, sharing, integrating, and retrieving electronic health information.

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