After 18 working months, HL7 released the version 4 of FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources), object of a normative ballot and will be submitted to ANSI as a standard.
It means that future modifications should be backward compatible, so that the applications that implement the normative parts of R4 will result surely compliant to the standard.
Following parts of the standard are now normative:
- RESTful API, XML and JSON formats, base datatypes
- Terminology layer (CodeSystem and ValueSet)
- Conformity layer (StructureDefinition and CapabilityStatement)
- Key resources Patient and Observation
Thousands of other updates and modifications were made in response to implementation experience and quality revision processes.
FHIR is a new concept standard developed by HL7 which combines the best features of HL7v2, v3 and CDA. FHIR defines a set of modular components said “Resources”. These resources can be easily assembled to generate information systems able to manage clinical and administrative aspects of the real world in more rapid and efficient way compared to the previous standards.
FHIR has been designed for the web; the resources are based on simple XML or JSON structures, using a http-based RESTful protocol, where each resource has a defined URL. Where possible, internet open standards are used for data representation. Thanks to these characteristics, FHIR can be used in a large range of contexts – applications for smartphones, cloud, EHR-based data sharing, server of great health organization and much more.
Resources are distributed on five levels: base, implementation, administration and finance, data management and exchange, elaboration and extraction of clinical processes information.
HL7 FHIR is a standard of interest for all the digital health community and will largely diffused in the next years. This is why we will focus this matter again.