FHIR adoption gains steam
The adoption of HL7’s emerging Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard for sharing electronic medical information has reached critical mass, says the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
“New analysis shows that the United States might be at a turning point when it comes to the adoption and implementation of [FHIR],” the agency states. “Using CMS and ONC data, we analyzed how health IT developers used FHIR to meet 2015 Edition certification requirements. Additionally, we assessed how hospitals and clinicians’ access to 2015 Edition certified-APIs vary across the U.S.”
The agency found that about 32 percent of the health IT developers certified to “Application access—data category request” published that they are using FHIR Release 2, while almost 51 percent of developers are using a version of FHIR combined with OAuth 2.0 for authentication.
“While the 32 percent may seem low, the estimated market share of the health IT developers using FHIR is large,” wrote ONC’s Steve Posnack and Wes Barker in a blog, which included a table showing the 10 certified HIT developers with the largest market share across hospitals and clinicians—eligible for participation in the CMS Promoting Interoperability Programs—and the FHIR version each developer includes in their 2015 Edition certified health IT.
Posnack, director of ONC’s Office of Standards and Technology, and Barker, a program analyst at HHS, report that approximately 82 percent of hospitals and 64 percent of clinicians use these developers’ certified products.
“While these data are encouraging, it’s not time to pop any champagne,” concludes Posnack and Barker. “Industry-wide, much work remains, from standards development to implementation.”