I’m working in the healthcare domain and has been hearing the FHIR developments for a while. In my hospital setting, we typically have a Patient Registration System, a EMR system, a LIS and RIS system, and some machine interface (Vital Signs, BMI). We are communicating with each other using HL7 V2 standard and is working fine.
My question is, how does the development of FHIR helps in existing interfaces? Do we need to eventually replace these interfaces with FHIR? If yes, all vendors of the respective systems needs to be FHIR ready.
I like to believe that FHIR is for a future expansion packs, and not a move to replace all existing interfaces. Meaning HL7 V2 are expected to stay. Another question: In HL7, we dealt with messaging in asynchronous mode. But the FHIR standards, we are moving from the messaging world?
This is a pretty frequently asked question – I got it fairly often at HIMSS last week. My standard answer is:
You don’t fix what isn’t broken, so initially, no one will replace v2 messaging interfaces with FHIR interfaces. Instead, institutions will use FHIR on their perimeter, for integration between enterprises.
I say that because FHIR is able to leverage all sorts of web standards, so it’s naturally a better choice than v2 from that point of view alone, and also because this is where all the action currently is, and why would you use v2 now? Most people I hear from are using FHIR in preference to v2 even though FHIR is still a moving target.
But once that’s in place, institutions will increasingly find that what they can do on the perimeter interfaces is constrained by what the internal services can provide – and then they’ll start gradually replacing their v2 interfaces with FHIR interfaces.