Engineering and product team members from Appriss Health are taking part in a national effort to develop a standards-based communication to emergency response regarding critical COVID-19 resources such as ICU beds, ventilators and other essential equipment and treatment supplies. Last week, members of the Appriss Health team participated in the HL7 FHIR Connectathon, a three-day event consisting of several technology tracks focusing on implementation and enhancement of interoperability standards across the healthcare industry — including the secure and rapid transfer of information to support coronavirus response efforts.
Government entities like the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are promoting the use of standards such as FHIR to improve the ability for healthcare information to flow more seamlessly between systems to improve patient care. The HL7 Connectathon provides a great opportunity for participating organizations to partner with diverse development teams and dive into the specifications driving simplified integration standards by participating in one of 37 potential tracks. Each track focuses on a specific use case or implementation of FHIR and SMART on FHIR.
Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR, pronounced “fire”) is a standard describing data formats and elements (known as “resources”) and an Application Programming Interface (API) for exchanging Electronic Health Records (EHR). The standard was created by the Health Level Seven (HL7) health-care standards organization, and standards like this are designed to allow healthcare information to flow seamlessly between systems and improve interoperability. SMART on FHIR allows for the delivery of an app (such as Appriss Health’s NarxCare solution) through these standards, not just the exchange of raw data.
Our team members participated in two Connectathon tracks: Clinical Decision Support (CDS) Hooks and Situation Awareness of Novel Epidemic Response (SANER).
CDS Hooks requirements involved leveraging the specification to integrate informational cards into clinical workflow during specific event “hooks” managed by the EHR. The CDS Hooks leverage FHIR components to communicate information and provide an interface to SMART on FHIR applications at the point of care to support clinical decisions. The track included validation of several workflow hooks currently supported by the CDS Hook specification and sandbox integration with leading EHR providers.
The SANER work focused on producing a measure report leveraging FHIR components to standardize the information sent to an intermediary or consumer. The measures are quality metrics defined by the CDC and FEMA. Our team is helping to create an industry standard to enable health systems to automatically report information, using the FHIR standard, that is critical to public health emergencies, such as the number of ICU beds available and the number of ventilators available.
Appriss Health will continue to participate in future sessions of the Connectathon and work continuously to support SMART on FHIR standards for the interoperability of healthcare IT applications.