This page explains what FHIR (pronounced “fire”) is and how it got adopted so fast. We describe the main pillars, the successful philosophy behind FHIR and the community that makes FHIR strong.
FHIR stands for Fast Health Interoperability Resources, and it is a data exchange standard for health: it allows you to transfer healthcare information between computer systems. FHIR is the fastest growing standard in health today, and the makers are not even finished yet!
The adoption of FHIR is going very fast. Many people, companies, and countries are happy about FHIR: they use it in hospitals, laboratories, and insurance today. For people who still have to decide: should you start to adopt FHIR as well? Don't worry. Many big companies are already on board. And why did adoption go so fast? Is it just a better standard, you might ask? Or are there other factors involved? There are several reasons. One obvious one is, yes, it's a good standard. But that does not say it all; read on to see why.
There are big differences in how people do health. Yet, we all strive for one common goal: enable a high-quality health care! To achieve this, various institutions and people need to be connected and exchange information. Think of patients, clinicians, but even clinical researchers. Unfortunately, sending, receiving and being able to use the information afterwards in a meaningful way is quite hard. Well, we never said it was easy. Or did we? Well it's not. So how can any standard solve that?
FHIR helps in this case on different levels. By being a "common denominator", which can still be adapted for individual needs. Without going into detail, FHIR is all about resources. These can describe how a patient, observation and many other clinical concepts look like. And all this in a way that any doctor (or at least his computer) anywhere in the world can read it. That's cool is it not!
The FHIR specification is based on three basic pillars:
Based on this FHIR helps to connect people. By being interoperable, organizational and technical barriers for communication can be struck down.
FHIR was formed with a good, clear philosophy behind it. The inventors formulated the following set of basic principles:
FHIR is a community effort, and the community culture of FHIR is a large contributor to its success. The FHIR community is a large group of very ambitious and warm people. If you join the FHIR community chat at chat.fhir.org, there is always someone willing to help you.
Do you want to learn even more about FHIR? We've got you covered!
Feel free to dive in directly by exploring real-life examples paired with more details about FHIR in our Profiling Academy. Alternatively, you can have a look at addtional helpful links that should help you get started.
Want to learn more about us? Please see About Firely.