Healthcare News

Federal Officials Urge Healthcare Industry’s Adoption of FHIR for Interoperability

Healthcare Providers Benefit When Industry Participates

While standardizing on FHIR aligns with Biden administration equity priorities, healthcare providers will reap benefits as well, Tabe-Bedward said. 

DOD, the Department of Veterans Affairs and industry partners share health data through MHS GENESIS using the joint Health Information Exchange, which connects to about 122,000 healthcare providers. The FHIR standard, which allows for auto-ingestion of data from trusted partners, improves data transfer efficiency by reducing the burden on clinicians to manually input information, said Lance Scott, acting technical director for the Federal EHR Modernization office.

Soon the joint HIE will include long-sought-after data from state immunization registries, which FEHRM is working on with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the past two years, FEHRM’s success in transferring data using FHIR has made it an “actual player” in national standards discussions, Scott said. The eHealth Exchange, a nonprofit health information network, reached out for help sharing data using FHIR.

“We cannot do any of this without close partnering,” Scott said.

DIVE DEEPER: How the VA is playing ‘catch-up’ on machine learning integration.

The Future of Electronic Health Records

Johns’ team at the Defense Healthcare Management Systems PEO is already working on the Revenue Cycle Expansion for MHS GENESIS. RevX will have a “huge” impact on patient administration by enabling military treatment facility administrators to make real-time, data-driven decisions, he said. Deployed forces will have access to new commercial software solutions for healthcare recording work, including the ViiMed platform and T6 Health Systems mobile application used in most medical trauma centers worldwide.

Between the data coming in from RevX software and the forthcoming immunization tracking and reporting tool, the MHS Information Platform will grow substantially with immediately actionable data, all thanks to FHIR.

“It’s huge — the opportunity to have all of that legacy data and all of that new data in one place to do Big Data analytics on, to bring in and leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics,” Johns said.

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