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Healthcare providers such as Cleveland Clinic are using the FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) draft standard created by Health Level Seven International (HL7) to extend clinical interoperability and functionality.
But FHIR also is proving its value to healthcare researchers. Health Sciences South Carolina (HSSC) has developed an FHIR-based clinical data repository infrastructure designed to foster collaboration.
FHIR is an application-based protocol that makes it easier for data to be shared between disparate health systems. FHIR solutions are built from a set of modular components designed to be easily assembled into working systems that solve real world clinical and administrative problems.
"Our goal was to create the infrastructure for collaborative quality improvement across health systems and for technology-enabled communities of practice that advance healthcare collaboratively," Jeff Jacobs, a data architect at HSSC, tells Healthcare IT News. "The specific problem that we were trying to address is the lack of a standard data model across institutions to support collaborative work."
HSSC’s efforts have been noticed. At last December’s HL7 FHIR Applications Roundtable in New Orleans, HSSC’s clinical data repository was voted Best in Show.
Among the prototype FHIR apps HSSC has built are an admissions notification system for hospitals and emergency departments, and an app that enables users to see merged records across health systems.
Formed in 2004, HSSC is a public/private health organization established as the first statewide health data and research collaborative in the U.S. to transform the state's public health and economic well-being through research. Member organizations include Clemson University, Greenville Health System, Palmetto Health, Spartanburg Regional Health System, and the University of South Carolina.