The HIMSS HIE Community gets SMART on FHIR®

Yesterday the HIMSS HIE Community kicked off their first Quarterly Roundtable of FY16. If the attendance from yesterday’s event is any indication of how energized this Community is – this will be an extremely exciting year!

During this Roundtable the HIE Community heard from HIMSS staff discussing important upcoming events during National Health IT Week, including the HIMSS Policy Summit which will take place in Washington D.C. this October, and about the IHE USA Connectathon, which will occur in Cleveland, OH this January. While these events may target different audiences within the health IT industry, both events have a keen focus on creating opportunities for dialogue and demonstrating connectivity to create interoperable health information exchange.

Next the HIE Community was joined by Josh Mandel from Harvard Medical School to get SMART on FHIR®. The Community learned about several apps for health that are being created utilizing the SMART Health IT app platform leveraging open standards (e.g. OAuth 2.0, and Open ID Connect) , including the emerging standard, HL7® Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard (FHIR®). Mandel explained that SMART assessed the landscape of Health IT standards over the last several years and concluded the following:



From this review came the need for open data and better usability – enter FHIR® – the draft standard from HL7, which is open and uses Restful Application Program Interface, or APIs. Mandel went on to demonstrate in real-time health apps that were created using FHIR®.

The question and answer session was just as robust as the presentation itself – as there were several questions about FHIR®’s capabilities and how it is being used in today’s environment. Mandel was realistic about the current limitations and challenges of the emerging standard but was hopeful for the future. He fielded questions about how to preserve patient privacy using these lightweight apps to scenario-based questions about how an HIE could leverage FHIR® to expedite the current multi-step process of collecting, storing, and querying data but rather having the data go straight to the data contributor’s disparate systems using FHIR®.

We are certain that the conversation and questions will continue about this emerging standard and how it will impact the broader health IT standards landscape – stay tuned for more events within the HIMSS HIE Community that will focus on this topic. If you are not a member of the HIE Community, we encourage you to join to stay current on all the exciting events and activities taking place throughout the year.

Didn’t have a chance to catch this event? Well, good news – you can hear the recording and access the slides! Hear the entire HIE Community Roundtable from September 17, and check out the presentations from HIMSS staff, as well as Josh Mandel’s presentation