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What is FHIR? Why it is Important for Healthcare

FHIR
Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you’re someone who provides dedicated healthcare services in the U.S.A., you would have known that the United States wastes $1+ trillion annually of healthcare spending on administration and related inefficient processes.

This is a shocking number, which shows that the U.S. healthcare industry has such a big loophole. But we have a solution to this problem. If you employ it, you can save your hard-earned money and improve the quality of your healthcare service or product.

That solution is FHIR, which is an acronym for Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources. It possesses the potential to revolutionize the landscape of your healthcare business.

In this blog post, we have shed light on what FHIR is, how it works, and why FHIR is important for your healthcare business.

So, without wasting any time, let’s dive deep into FHIR!

What is FHIR, and How Does it Work?

FHIR stands for Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources. It is a globally accepted standard for processing healthcare information. It uses a theoretical and logical model and simplifies implementation while adhering to security and compliance measures.

You can say that FHIR is a universal translator of healthcare data.

Its robust mechanisms enable seamless communication and the proper exchange of healthcare information between healthcare professionals and applications.

How FHIR Works

The FHIR standard works on REST website services and supports basic HTTP activities. It has been exclusively built for only Internet and is based on a solid framework or set of resources. You can easily interpret it or exchange it on any system, as well as modify it according to the use case.

FHIR uses a user-friendly and highly flexible data format. It follows the following web standards:

  • HTTP
  • JSON
  • XML

It means that you can incorporate the FHIR standard into your healthcare business and exchange your medical information in a secure manner. This healthcare information can be patient profiles, medications, pharmaceutical data, etc.

FHIR! FHIR! FHIR! Why It is Important for Healthcare Today

FHIR

When it comes to interoperability, FHIR and mobile API applications are the future.

What is an API? Do you know? APIs are combinations of requirements that entail how different applications should communicate and interact with one another.

In essence, an API is an interface. It gives software developers programmatic access to proprietary software applications. By regulating all incoming data and requests as appropriate FHIR resources, APIs integrate with healthcare stakeholders and medical devices.

As we discussed earlier, the U.S. healthcare industry already loses $1+ trillion annually on inefficient administrative and communication processes. These medical errors cause more than 250K fatalities annually.

You would be astonished to hear that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. So, it is important for healthcare businesses to install FHIR software to stay competitive in the market.

The Fundamental Principles of FHIR

There was no FHIR manifesto in the past. However, the continuous efforts of globally renowned healthcare experts led to the formation of an official document, which is known as the Fundamental Principles of FHIR. 

Let’s have a brief look at its important points:

  • FHIR gives priority to implementation
  • FHIR offers a flexible interoperability framework
  • FHIR maintains complications where they belong
  • FHIR promotes, but doesn’t impose tight specifications
  • FHIR uses open-source development terms
  • FHIR is free to employ
  • FHIR supports different exchange models and architectures
  • FHIR uses common web technologies
  • FHIR is compatible (both forward and backward)
  • FHIR tooling requirements are simple and minimal

Top 5 Benefits of FHIR for Healthcare

Following are some amazing advantages of using HL7 FHIR. Let’s explore each of the below and discuss in detail how FHIR can benefit your company.

Easy to understand and use

FHIR has been gaining huge appreciation in the healthcare industry due to its implementation factor. FHIR is easy to understand and use. 

Healthcare professionals can easily understand how FHIR works in reality. The features of FHIR are 100% available; you don’t need to login or follow any complicated restrictions to use it. 

It also provides different introductions, summaries, and examples, which can help healthcare experts understand it immediately.

FHIR is developer-friendly 

FHIR leverages modern, famous web technologies like REST, JSON, OAuth, ATOM, and XML. Many software developers are familiar with these technologies, so they can help healthcare companies in the development and implementation of FHIR.

Interoperability

Before the arrival of FHIR, healthcare data was often trapped in proprietary formats and systems. And it has always been difficult to share between healthcare stakeholders.

The HL7 FHIR standard is highly interoperable. It means that you can use it across multiple healthcare applications and systems, no matter what the vendor or platform.

Efficiency and cost savings

Do you remember that shocking statistic about wasted $1 trillion on healthcare administrative tasks? FHIR can significantly save this money.

Patient data holds great importance in the healthcare industry.

One fault in records can cause the healthcare industry to lose millions and billions of dollars. This is a top reason FHIR is trending nowadays in healthcare organizations, as it can properly manage and secure their healthcare data.

Patient experience

FHIR is easy to use and integrate across all healthcare applications and devices, so it improves the patient experience and empowers patient care.

FHIR helps hospitals share medical data with patients, which enables patients to better manage and track their health records. So, it allows healthcare organizations to establish trust in their healthcare services as well as their providers. 

Challenges in the Implementation of FHIR in the Healthcare Industry

FHIR has a huge potential to change the fortunes of the healthcare industry, but there are some challenges that ought to be resolved. Following are a few challenges that healthcare companies face when it comes to the implementation of FHIR.

Legacy systems

It is unfortunate that many healthcare organizations still rely on traditional and outdated legacy systems. These systems are not compatible with FHIR standards. So, it is difficult and costly for institutions to migrate from these systems to FHIR-friendly systems.

Security concerns

Patient data, data privacy, and data security holds the great importance in the healthcare industry, but there are still many institutions that don’t follow HIPPA compliance measures. 

So, healthcare organizations should make sure to follow healthcare regulations like HIPPA for better healthcare data management.

Technical challenges

When it comes to FHIR implementation in the healthcare industry, a few technical challenges that arises are data integration between devices with different bandwidths, EHR record sharing, and technical compatibility between medical and claims data.

Resistance to change

Many healthcare companies and hospitals are showing resistance to adopting FHIR standard. The healthcare experts and administrative staff need proper education and training, which is another challenge in the FHIR implementation.

How PureLogics can Help your Healthcare Business with FHIR

As a top-rated custom software development company in the United States, we understand the administrative challenges hospitals and healthcare experts face when providing healthcare services to their patients.

Our team of software developers in New York City has been providing healthcare-related web development, mobile app development services, and machine learning services for more than 17 years.

We know how to develop and successfully implement FHIR-compliant solutions according to the needs of your healthcare businesses.

Our FHIR software development services include:

  • FHIR app development
  • Data migration and transformation
  • Compliance and security
  • Training and support


Contact us today, discuss your nature of business with our healthcare software developers, and learn how they can take your organization, hospital, and clinic business to heights of success.

PureLogics: We believe in logic, not magic!

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