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HL7 Teams with Healthcare Services Platform Consortium on FHIR Development

February 1, 2017
by David Raths
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Engaging clinical specialty communities to develop a common set of FHIR-based solutions to simplify workflows

Standards organization HL7 has announced a collaboration agreement with the Healthcare Services Platform Consortium (HSPC), a provider-led nonprofit group working toward the development of an open ecosystem of interoperable applications, content, and service-oriented architecture (SOA) services.

HSPC’s vision is that, similar to iOS and Android, it will support a marketplace model for plug-and-play healthcare applications leveraging the work at Intermountain Healthcare, LSU Health, the VA VistA Evolution initiative and others. The HSPC marketplace would support common services and models that providers and vendors could use to shorten development lifecycles.

The two groups said they would initiate joint projects to advance interoperability and are joining forces to support HL7’s development of the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources FHIR standard. The collaboration agreement will focus on the following objectives and goals:

• Contribute to the development of consistent representations of health data, including HL7 Clinical Information Modeling Initiative (CIMI) Work Group models that can be incorporated into the FHIR profiles.

• Develop tools to support standards development and adoption.

• Demonstrate the value of HL7’s FHIR in real world implementations by HSPC member organizations.

• Launch joint projects focused on engaging clinicians in the validation of clinical data representations and on standards to support coordination of care. The first will be launched at the Clinical Information Interchange Collaborative meeting in June 2017.

“We are delighted to work with HSPC to develop detailed FHIR profiles based on our CIMI models,” said HL7 CEO Charles Jaffe, M.D., Ph.D., in a prepared statement. “Together we are engaging the clinical specialty communities to develop a common set of FHIR-based solutions to simplify workflows, effectively allowing clinicians to provide better patient care.”

“We are pleased to have a Memorandum of Understanding with HL7 that details HSPC's support of the efforts within the HL7 community in the areas of true semantic interoperability, knowledge authoring and portability, and the development of a Services-Oriented Platform model for healthcare,” said Oscar Diaz, HSPC’s CEO in a prepared statement. “Through HSPC’s membership and its collaborators, HSPC hopes to accelerate evolution and real world deployment of high value use cases such as care coordination, clinical pathways, and care plans, that implement evolving standards supporting clinical workflows. We look forward to a strong collaboration with HL7 and its members.”

In a 2015 talk, Intermountain Healthcare Chief Medical Informatics Officer Stan Huff, M.D., spoke about the creation of the Healthcare Services Platform Consortium. He said the group envisions developers creating applications that don’t need to know about the physical structures of databases in EHRs. So the same application in the cloud using the SMART approach developed at Boston Children’s Hospital integrates into the EHR, and the exact same app can run in Epic, Cerner, Allscripts or Greenway as long as those systems support standards-based services. “Think of the implications,” Huff said. “Today, any useful program has to be recreated in every EHR. As a society, we pay the cost of every one of those pieces of software in vertical architectures.” The services model offers the potential for tremendous advantage and decrease in cost, he stressed.

 

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