PODCAST #22. EMR Interoperability and Data Standardization Issues Amid AI Adoption in Healthcare

Welcome to another CareMinds podcast episode featuring Sameer Desai, Senior Director of Engineering and Product Management at Verona Health. In this two-part episode, Sameer Desai shares his invaluable insights into the limitations of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) in addressing interoperability challenges comprehensively.

Sameer Desai’s expertise allows us to delve into the specific hurdles smaller and niche healthcare practices face in achieving interoperability. With over 12 years of experience in software development and HL7 C certification, Sameer Desai has extensive knowledge of EHR systems and their intricacies. 

Throughout the episode, he sheds light on slower adoption of the FHIR standard and the cumbersome process of custom integrations they must endure to overcome interoperability challenges.

Let’s dive right in!

The Role of AI in Healthcare and Addressing Data Standardization Challenges

“I think we have heard about everybody transitioning to FHIR. Now, especially in the space I work in, we are going across 50 different EHRs. When you look at the FHIR standard, the maturity of FHIR APIs across EHRs varies a lot.”

Sameer Desai – Senior Director of Engineering & Product Management at Verana Health

According to Mr. Sameer Desai, the problem of lack of standardization has persisted over time. While there are standards in place, most healthcare providers consider them guidelines rather than strict requirements, leading to issues.

He mentions the transition to the FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) standard, which many in the industry adopt. However, the maturity of FHIR varies significantly across different EHR systems. For example, one EHR may populate all the required fields correctly, while another may not adhere to the same structure or location for data population.

Mr. Sameer Desai also highlights the challenges faced in specialty areas like ophthalmology, where specific EHR systems may lack the resources or capabilities to implement the FHIR standard. Thus, some EHR systems can communicate effectively using standard formats, while others lack the capabilities or resources to do so. This presents a dilemma for building an inclusive AI program that accommodates all EHR systems, regardless of their size or resources.

He emphasizes the importance of enabling participation in AI advancements for all healthcare providers, not just those who can afford or have implemented systems like Epic. However, the customization of workflows within EHR implementations adds another layer of complexity to the FHIR framework. This is because even two Epic implementations may differ in appearance and data organization. Critical information may be stored in notes rather than standardized fields in certain fields like neurology, further complicating data extraction for algorithm development.

Mr. Sameer Desai acknowledges that such diverse data formats pose a challenge, despite recognizing that healthcare data is valuable, akin to oil. Still, it is not uniformly accessible or structured across all EHR systems. He underscores the need to address these issues and achieve standardized data formats to facilitate the development of accurate algorithms, predictions, and improvements in care quality and drug development.

Exploring the Relationship Between the Adoption of FHIR Standard and EMR/EHR Efficiency”

Mr. Sameer Desai expresses his perspective on adopting the FHIR standard and its limitations. He mentions that FHIR is still in its early stages of development and does not address all types of problems in healthcare data interoperability.

He provides an example of their current focus on helping providers submit MIPS reports, which involves administrative aspects of data. Specifically, he mentions the challenge of reconciling medications when patients visit healthcare providers. This type of specific information may not have an exact place within the FHIR standards, as FHIR is primarily evaluated as a clinical data standard. However, he notes that FHIR is also evolving to encompass financial and initiative spaces.

“So I think in the newer world, we expect, like now, we’re going to do something with images; we’re also going to do something with genomic data, which will always result in different formats.” 

Sameer Desai – Senior Director of Engineering & Product Management at Verana Health

Mr. Sameer Desai emphasizes that healthcare data goes beyond just clinical information. The data requirements become more extensive as the industry shifts from transactional to value-based healthcare. They must consider factors beyond diagnosis and disease treatment, such as socioeconomic factors. The scope of data expands to include non-healthcare-related information. Progress must be made toward achieving standard formats.

Looking ahead, Mr. Sameer Desai mentions integrating images and genomic data, which will introduce further variations in data formats. However, he highlights that the challenges extend to the core clinical data, which is not yet standardized. He believes that the pace of FHIR standard adoption will help address these issues, noting that larger DH organizations have already taken the leap, and he expects others to follow suit.

Challenges in Data Plumbing: Addressing Development Obstacles for Integrating Diverse EHR Systems

“So at some point, you have to take a hit to convert that to a common model where you can apply these algorithms at scale and move forward.”

Sameer Desai – Senior Director of Engineering & Product Management at Verana Health

Mr. Sameer Desai expresses his opinion on the challenges and significance of working on healthcare data interoperability. He believes that although this job may not appear shiny or exciting to most engineers, it is crucial for the healthcare industry. Waiting for everyone to adopt the same standards is not feasible; therefore, immediate action is necessary to solve the problems at hand and make progress. He emphasized the need to address the challenges faced in the healthcare space today.

According to Mr. Sameer Desai, the challenges in this field start with technical problems such as establishing connections and sharing data, which can be solved through APIs or direct database connections. However, the real challenge arises once the data is in the environment and needs to be understood. This requires collaboration with EHR vendor partners, who may have different priorities and may be hesitant to cooperate, especially when dealing with startups that lack the leverage of larger organizations. Convincing EHR vendors to work together and establish a common data model becomes crucial, particularly when working across multiple entities.

Another obstacle is the operational aspect, where people become more dependent due to the complexity involved. Working with multiple EHR systems (30 to 50 in this case) requires finding a common data model to apply machine learning and analytical algorithms at scale. Operational challenges also arise from capturing data within EHRs, as different systems may have varied data entry and organization approaches.

He provided an example of the complexity involved in medication reconciliation, where different EHRs use diverse methods such as procedure codes, flags, reverse flags, or note templates. Human involvement becomes essential in resolving such discrepancies, leading to a greater need for larger teams to handle multiple EHR systems effectively.

“It’s also about figuring out these operational things – where does it make sense to invest in automating, and where does it make sense to actually just have people do it?”

Sameer Desai – Senior Director of Engineering & Product Management at Verana Health

Additionally, Mr. Sameer Desai mentioned the complexity at the practice level, where non-standard EHRs allow unstructured notes, and each provider or nurse practitioner may have a way of documenting information. These technological and operational challenges require balancing automation and human intervention, depending on the specific situation and the value derived from solving the problem.

He concludes by emphasizing that all startups encounter these challenges, and the key lies in finding a happy balance or a happy medium. This balance involves determining the value of solving problems and deciding whether automation or human effort is the most suitable approach. Mr. Sameer Desai considers achieving this balance to be an art or science in itself.

Unveiling Verana Health’s Strategies for Tackling Standardization Challenges in Healthcare”

Mr. Sameer Desai shares his perspective on Verana Health’s unique position and approach to solving healthcare data challenges. He believes that Verana Health has a distinct advantage in working with societies and specialties, enabling them to leverage their influence with HR vendors. By collaborating with these societies, Verana Health can request additional support in terms of data mapping and establishing connections with HR vendors.

Mr. Sameer Desai emphasizes that Verana Health’s primary focus is to provide the best customer satisfaction for its registry members. To achieve this, they meet their customers where they are. For practices using Epic, Verana Health has an FHIR injection API that allows them to easily ingest the data. This minimizes the burden on hospitals or practices. However, for practices using smaller, specialized HR systems that may not have similar integration capabilities, Verana Health is responsible for directly obtaining data from their databases.

They then work closely with the HR vendors to understand data mappings and ensure compatibility. Alternatively, if the HR systems have standardized data extracts, Verana Health works with those extracts and maps them to their common data model. This approach provides multiple options to customers, allowing them to participate in the registry and benefit from insights into the quality of care while receiving suggestions for improvement.

Additionally, Mr. Sameer Desai highlights that Verana Health considers patients’ well-being. They offer practice opportunities to participate in clinical trials, ultimately benefiting patients. While certain regions may have limited access to breakthrough treatments and trial participation, Verana Health strives to solve data-related problems for them. They facilitate connectivity to platforms and ensure that these regions are included, enabling them to be part of the larger healthcare ecosystem.

Furthermore, Verana Health leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to go beyond structured data. They analyze unstructured data such as notes and employ AI models to identify additional information. Verana Health excels not only in identification but also in converting this unstructured data into a structured format. By doing so, they can provide valuable structured data to research organizations and clinical trials, aiding in research advancements.

Achieving Effective Problem Solving and Execution in Product Development: Verana Health’s Collaborative Model and Success Stories

“I build the platform, I get the data, and then my outbound product managers are building experiences based on which customer they are serving.” 

Sameer Desai – Senior Director of Engineering & Product Management at Verana Health

Mr. Sameer Desai discusses the collaborative structure and roles within Verana Health’s product management team. He explains that the structure resembles a common model seen in Silicon Valley, known as inbound or outbound product managers or technical product managers versus traditional product managers. Regardless of the terminology, Mr. Sameer Desai’s focus at Verana Health is on building the platform.

“So I am more technically oriented in terms of setting up the platform and looking at how we can scale this.” 

Sameer Desai – Senior Director of Engineering & Product Management at Verana Health

As a technical product manager, Mr. Sameer Desai is primarily responsible for platform development and scalability. He considers the developers and individuals who will create additional applications on top of the platform as his customers. He focuses on the technical aspects of platform setup and operational scalability rather than direct customer interaction.

On the other hand, the outbound product managers work with the data and insights generated by the platform. They use this information to create tailored experiences for different customer segments. Verana Health serves various customer bases, including societies, doctors/providers, and clinical trial sponsors. Each customer base has specific needs, and the outbound product managers build experiences and applications to address those needs.

Mr. Sameer Desai emphasizes that the platform he develops remains agnostic to the specific customer bases. He acts as a layer between the data insights and the engineers, ensuring they clearly understand how the data is used without burdening them with customer-specific details. This structure allows for effective collaboration and streamlines the product development process.

Verana Health’s Resourceful Approach to Ensuring Smooth and Efficient Scaling

According to Mr. Sameer Desai, operational scaling at Verana Health involves several key aspects. Firstly, connecting with different electronic health record (EHR) systems is challenging, some of which are cloud-hosted while others are on-premises. With over 1,500 connections to individual practices, the goal is to make the setup process as easy as possible, particularly for small practices with limited IT resources. Verana Health focuses on building user-friendly and remotely manageable solutions to alleviate the burden on these practices. 

In addition to the operational challenges, there is a focus on reducing data latency. In contrast to the traditional approach of working with claims data that may have a lag of 90 days, their goal is to shorten the lag to weeks. Maintaining connections and ensuring stability is crucial in achieving this objective. The company takes responsibility for ensuring the smooth running and uptime of these connections, focusing on maintaining low latency for data refreshes.

Another aspect of scaling involves the staggered implementation of different EHRs. Each EHR system may be adopted by practices at different times, which requires careful planning and program management. Resources on their side and the EHR partners’ side are limited, so efficient planning is necessary to make the implementation process feasible. Verana Health has dedicated mapping and clinical data transformation resources available for this purpose.

Once the data is received, another scaling layer comes into play, addressing data curation and organization for specific disease areas. Verana Health focuses on understanding market needs and the requirements of research organizations to effectively curate and transform the data for analysis and research purposes.

While these aspects are important, Mr. Sameer Desai emphasizes that the first two aspects, which are external-facing and involve operational scaling, hold greater significance. Meeting their partners’ needs is a priority, and achieving it requires a combination of art and induction in the planning process. It is not solely a scientific endeavor but also involves carefully considering various factors to ensure successful scaling and operational efficiency.

The Future of Interoperability: Navigating Integrations and Data Streams for Smaller Startups and Niche Practices

“We are moving towards data set marketplaces, where startups can leverage pre-cleaned data sets and build experiences that other competitors are not focused on.” 

Sameer Desai – Senior Director of Engineering & Product Management at Verana Health

According to Mr. Sameer Desai, the healthcare industry lags behind other sectors in effectively leveraging data. He acknowledges that there are reasons for this discrepancy, noting that healthcare cannot acquire data in the same way as consumer industries.

However, Mr. Sameer Desai points out an emerging trend in the overall data landscape: the rise of data set marketplaces. He cites AWS as an example of a company that has recently introduced its marketplace, and he believes that other vendors are pursuing similar initiatives. This development will make the data space more interesting as organizations undertake the initial groundwork. They’ll be responsible for the data cleaning and preparation processes, making curated data sets available in these marketplaces.

Mr. Sameer Desai highlights the potential benefits for startups in this evolving landscape. By leveraging these curated data sets, startups can explore developing new AI models to address challenges that other industries and competitors may not be focusing on. Alternatively, they can utilize the data to build unique experiences that competitors have not yet explored or may not be interested in pursuing.

He emphasizes exhaustively exploring these options before resorting to expensive data acquisition methods. Mr. Sameer Desai acknowledges that establishing numerous connections and acquiring data through traditional means can be a capital-intensive process.

Let’s Sum it Up

Here are five key takeaways from our discussion with Mr. Sameer Desai:

  • Data standardization challenges persist in healthcare, hindering interoperability and AI’s full potential.
  • Although still in its early stages, adopting the FHIR standard is essential for achieving data interoperability in healthcare. 
  • Technical and operational obstacles must be addressed, including reconciling different data entry methods and addressing variations in data organization across different systems.
  • Verana Health employs unique strategies to tackle data standardization challenges. They also offer multiple options for practices of different sizes and capabilities to participate and benefit from insights into care quality.
  • Operational scaling, reducing data latency, and effective data curation are crucial for successful healthcare data management.








The APP Solutions launched a podcast, CareMinds, where you can hear from respected experts in healthcare and Health Tech.

Who is a successful product manager in the healthcare domain? Which skills and qualities are crucial? How important is this role in moving a successful business to new achievements? Responsibilities and KPIs?

Please find out about all this and more in our podcast. Stay tuned for updates and subscribe to channels.

Listen to our podcast to get some useful tips on your next startup.

Article podcast YouTube

HL7 Integration: A Reference for Its Benefits, Implementations, and Applications

Tons of healthcare data are produced and analyzed for important insights every second. Currently, around 30% of the world’s data is being created from healthcare industries. And the estimated compound annual growth rate is set to hit 36% by 2025. Hospitals and healthcare institutions have various computer systems for various activities, such as billing and patient tracking. These ecosystems need to connect when new information is sent or pulled. Yet, not all of them can do that.

HL7 International provides a range of standards, guidelines, and methods for healthcare systems to connect. These data standards ensure information is shared and processed in a uniform and consistent way. The ultimate goal is to lower the geographic barriers and variability that can come from medical care. Despite its importance in today’s interconnected world, healthcare providers may need to know the advantages of integrating HL7. This post discusses the core relevance of HL7 integration, its benefits, and various cases where it can be used in medical practice.


hl7 fhir

What is HL7?

HL7 (Health Level Seven) is a set of standards formulated to enable sharing of healthcare-related information between different systems, such as EHRs (Electronic Health Records), healthcare providers, and insurers. Created in 1989 to tackle the interoperability issue among healthcare systems, this standard provides guidelines to facilitate data sharing and bridge the gap between healthcare applications. 

Currently, two versions are being used: HL7 v2, which is still most widely employed and uses a delimited format to transfer data, and HL7 v3, which utilizes eXtensible Markup Language (XML) to represent self-describing data.


The seven-step communication process used by HL7 to ensure compatibility between systems is as follows:

  1. The physical connection to a transmission medium.
  2. Data linking to control errors between adjacent nodes.
  3. Network routing of information.
  4. Control of end-to-end communication.
  5. Non-communication problem-solving.
  6. Conversion of information.
  7. Provision of services to applications

An interface engine uses all the layers mentioned above to collect and distribute HL7 data, with layers 1 through 4 handling communication and 5 through 7 handling functionality.


hl7 fhir integration

What is the Difference between API and HL7?

APIs and HL7 facilitate communication and data sharing between differing programs. However, a firm grasp of health level seven and application programming interfaces is required to appreciate the distinctions between the two.

Health Level 7 (HL7) was the initial standardized data interchange format utilized in healthcare. It supplied a uniform structure that applications could use for transmitting data about patients to each other. Despite this, encryption and strong integrity checking were not incorporated when the format was first introduced. Nevertheless, many applications are still relying on it.


The Final Rule of the 21st Century CURES Act is a significant development in healthcare data transfer. It allows patients to use Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to access their health data via their preferred application, thereby fulfilling the original purpose of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The Security Rule requires organizations to secure data transmission, imposing additional controls to protect the integrity and detect any tampering in real-time. APIs offer a modernized alternative to HLA, using a uniform authentication format for applications to identify users correctly. Many websites and applications are currently employing this format.

If you want to know more about HL7 FHIR integration, you should definitely listen to our CareMinds podcast, particularly the episode with Redox specialist Nick McKenzie.

Nick went on to work with the EHR integration architecture, which he compares to building a house, where an entire team of contractors, roofers, electricians, and plumbers work cohesively under an architect. 

“I was always fascinated with this idea of being the translator helping clinicians translate their requirements into what they wanted the system to be designed and then translating back to the technical teams how to execute and interestingly enough. It’s all that product management really is.”

Watch other episodes as well!






Application Programming Interface

Human Level 7


APIs, including SMART and FHIR, can support standard medical portals

Does not provide comprehensive support for technologies

Patient outcome

Due to the convenience of “on-demand” data retrieval, APIs are favored over HL7

Data is provided by HL7 on a subscription basis, implying that it will be obtained regardless of whether or not it is immediately required


More precise definitions of security rules are provided by APIs, further facilitating interoperability between systems

HL7 can secure data but with limitations in encryption and robust integrity checking


Benefits of HL7 for Medical Facilities 

The following are reasons why using HL7 is so important in the healthcare industry.

Healthcare professionals can utilize HL7 to quickly and conveniently access patient data from multiple sources, making savvy decisions promptly. 

HL7 provides a standardized language for data and information exchange, thus promoting unification in the healthcare system by ensuring that all data is registered, stored, and exchanged in the same way.

By taking advantage of HL7, medical facilities can better administer their patients’ care by providing an encompassing view of their medical history; thereby allowing caregivers to readily access patient information and make the best decisions for their treatment. 

Hospitals can establish a standard data-sharing methodology between various systems, guaranteeing that data is accurately and securely shared and enabling healthcare providers to make informed decisions concerning patient care.


data interoperability

HL7 Applications in Healthcare

Here are some examples of its application in the healthcare industry.

Integrating their existing patient records system with an HL7-compatible system allows a medical center to access patient records and information stored in multiple departments swiftly and effortlessly. This facilitates a hospital’s ability to identify and treat patients quickly and reduces expenditure and time on needless paperwork.

Implementing HL7 integration allows laboratories to rapidly and accurately process patient data and results. It promotes the rapid detection of potential issues and addresses them instantly, resulting in enhanced accuracy and effectiveness in testing results.

Linking their existing patient records and billing systems to an HL7-compatible system helps a healthcare provider quickly and easily process patient claims. This enabled the healthcare provider to save time and money on manual data entry while ensuring a higher accuracy rate.

HL7 integration allows for interoperability between providers, making it possible to share clinical and administrative data. For instance, physicians can conveniently send laboratory results to specialists for a second opinion.


hospital information systems

HL7 integration enables EMR systems  to communicate with one another and share patient data. This helps reduce the time spent inputting information manually and eliminates the possibility of data entry errors.

What Does It Mean to Integrate HL7 and FHIR?

As already discussed, HL7 are standards used to define how healthcare information is collected, interpreted, and shared, making data integration more efficient and free of errors. Running a healthcare organization requires using multiple systems and technologies by doctors, administrative staff, accounting, and pharmacy staff. Most of these platforms are isolated and written in different programming languages, resulting in communication hiccups that can negatively affect patient care. Implementing HL7 integration allows 80% of the interface to be defined, leaving 20% of the interface available for customization.


FHIR (fast health interoperability resources), developed in 2011 by HL7, is the latest development in HL7 standards. Its integration allows improved security measures and larger data formats. FHIR incorporates functionalities of previous HL7 standards and additional features to make interoperability among healthcare applications even more efficient. Using web standards, communication across all systems can be achieved irrespective of system languages and specifics while removing the need to connect interfaces manually. Some technologies known to run using this standard include:

  • REST
  • XML
  • JSON
  • ATOM
  • OAuth
health information systems

HL7 Interfaces, Engines, and Strategies

With different technologies used in various areas of a healthcare facility, a need for a standard approach to the handling of medical data resulting in substantial productivity delays and increased patient risks. With the segregation of data resulting in several inefficiencies, the need for a healthcare industry-accepted standard way of sharing healthcare data among several departments was apparent, resulting in the creation of HL7.

An interface defined in healthcare IT structures refers to programs implemented to facilitate seamless data transfer between systems using different messaging protocols. A typical example of an interface will be one connecting systems in the lab, pharmacy, registration, and an electrocardiogram machine.

Interface engines (integration engines) act as the guide to the exchange of data across systems from which it gets its nickname as the “traffic cop.” These engines act as the hub of a healthcare data exchange in a health facility. They are responsible for receiving, routing, and translating messages into the right formats to be understood by the recipient system, simplifying health integration processes. 

Other ways interface engines communicate include; File transfer protocols (FTP), Direct database updates, and XML.

Examples of highly rated interface engines include;

  • Datagate
  • Rhapsody
  • Corepoint
  • Cloverleaf
manual interface coding


Several strategies are employed in the integration of HL7.

  • The development of a method of interoperability standards from a reference information model
  • Creation of awareness on the benefits of information standardization to the healthcare providers and the public
  • Creation of clear standards in health information sharing between systems
  • Encourage HL7 interoperability use through affiliation with establishments
  • Ensure HL7 standards are up to standard through collaboration with healthcare IT users
  • Foster the participation of healthcare industry experts in HL7 to develop healthcare data standards in their various areas of expertise
    duplicate paper records

    FHIR Integration: Elevating Healthcare Information Exchange

    Instead of rushing to implement the latest phase of your HL7 data integration, you should assess your health system and design a custom interface solution that meets your specific needs while still being affordable and scalable as your organization grows. Successfully integrate HL7 calls for a specialized interface team and coordinated testing from industry professionals.

    Integration of FHIR entails three main steps:

    • Interface planning
    • Developing an interface
    • Final testing and validation


    Data entry duplication can be reduced, while user workflow is enhanced by employing application interoperability if HL7 interfaces are properly integrated. In a healthcare setting, HL7 interfaces can be found everywhere. Among these are “Admission, Discharge, and Transfer” (ADT), “Detailed Financial Transaction” (DFT), “Observation Results,” “Orders,” “Medical Document Management” [MDM]), “Master Files Notification” [MFN] and “Billing Account Record” [BAR] and so on.

    Your business model and the features of each interface should be carefully evaluated before you settle on an integration strategy. This procedure will help you determine what features your ideal interface must have. Proper project execution also necessitates identifying and including the appropriate staff and clinicians.

    After these have been discovered, a thorough examination of the procedure is necessary to detect data errors.

    This step is further subdivided into:

    • Execution phase during which interface engineers are hard at work developing and specifying each port and its associated data
    • Interface building entails creating and incorporating necessary interface specifications, data types to be processed by the interface, and record numbering schemes
    • Testing: as the name suggests, testing is where flaws in the flow of information from its originator to its intended recipient are discovered
    seamless integration fhir

    The complete HL7 integration is examined in this stage, from its structure to its content. To put it simply, this is the most crucial stage. It is also sub-divided into:

    • Unit testing: The goal is to catch mistakes the interface engineer may have missed, resulting in more precise data.
    • Integrated testing: During this testing stage, data is examined both from the upstream and the downstream perspectives.

    Final Thoughts 

    In conclusion, HL7 integration is an important process for the healthcare industry, enabling hospitals to access and share patient data in a secure and efficient manner. With the right tools and expertise, organizations can easily implement HL7 integration and benefit from its many advantages. We recommend you start by assessing your needs and resources for the project. The team at The APP Solutions has years of experience in the healthcare IT industry and is highly knowledgeable in the complexities of data integration. We work with you every step of the way to ensure that the process goes smoothly and that all of your needs are met.

    FHIR Standard: The Crucial Healthcare Data Solution for Secure Interoperability

    The healthcare industry has experienced several technological advancements in the last few decades, most of which have reduced costs and increased efficiency.

    However, one area that continues to receive attention from tech giants is healthcare information interoperability.

    The health data generated by various sources must be shared within a patient’s care plan and across multiple systems and database environments. But this can only be possible with some industry-standardized set of rules.

    /FHIR Standard exchanging data

    Enter FHIR – short for Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources.

    This blog post will explore FHIR in detail and explain why healthcare organizations increasingly adopt FHIR standards.


    What Do Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources Mean?

    Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) refer to healthcare data standard developed by the HL7 organization that enables secure, real-time health data exchange across disparate healthcare organizations.

    The ultimate goal of FHIR is “interoperability,” meaning all digital products within the healthcare ecosystem can exchange information with one another regardless of the vendor or system used.

    So, Who Uses FHIR?

    FHIR is used by healthcare providers, payers, technology vendors, and other stakeholders in the healthcare industry. It is especially popular among developers of healthcare applications, as it offers a flexible and easy-to-use standard for exchanging data.

    who uses fhir - basic ehr operating system

    Yes, FHIR is designed to be interoperable with other healthcare standards, such as HL7 v2 and CDA. It is also being used in conjunction with emerging technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence to improve healthcare interoperability and data exchange.

    Why FHIR standard is Important for Healthcare Providers

    FHIR is an important standard for healthcare organizations because it enables the secure exchange of electronically-protected health information across systems and providers. Different data formats can be exchanged through FHIR.

    This standard can help remove data silos created over time by disparate IT systems across multiple departments within a hospital system.

    Let’s look at the key benefits of FHIR in the next section.

    FHIR provides a standardized way for health systems, patients, physical records providers, and other healthcare applications to interact securely. It makes data sharing across different platforms in real-time more manageable. This can reduce the time required to access particular medical histories or test results within one system from multiple sources.


    FHIR interoperability with EHRs

    FHIR enables faster clinical decision support through near-instantaneous exchanges of the requested information, such as clinical data that may be required before a physician makes diagnosis/treatment decisions.

    FHIR enables healthcare professionals to rapidly access patient information from multiple electronic health records (EHR) software systems by connecting different platforms. This helps reduce time lags arising from cross-platform implementations, allowing healthcare professionals to access vital client details remotely conveniently and timely.


    Data standards defined by FHIR are instrumental in enhancing security protocols and ensuring compliance with HIPAA regulations. The open APIs offered via cloud technologies enable administrators to manage access to data, thereby aiding in the protection of sensitive patient information and safeguarding patient privacy.

    FHIR’s well-defined terminology ensures everyone on a health IT system can understand what different components mean. This significantly speeds up how quickly clinical care is delivered, improves accuracy, and minimizes misunderstandings due to the ambiguity of non-cross-deployed API architecture implementations.

    According to Statista, by 2025, the market for health-related financial analytics services using big data will increase to over 13 billion U.S. dollars. For organizations to be market-ready in the future, they must implement an efficient analytics system. FHIR also helps them because it allows for accurate longitudinal tracking of medical records within standards.

    hl7 fhir statistics

    This means healthcare organizations can leverage algorithmic-based machine intelligence tools to track disease patterns or other variables like appointment attribution automatically.

    Improved data analytics also enable better planning/forecast decisions regarding resource allocation over time, resulting in financial savings and efficient use of personnel services.


    If you want to know more about HL7 FHIR integration, you should definitely listen to our CareMinds podcast, particularly the episode with Redox specialist Nick McKenzie.

    Nick went on to work with the EHR integration architecture, which he compares to building a house, where an entire team of contractors, roofers, electricians, and plumbers work cohesively under an architect. 

    “I was always fascinated with this idea of being the translator helping clinicians translate their requirements into what they wanted the system to be designed and then translating back to the technical teams how to execute and interestingly enough. It’s all that product management really is.”

    Watch other episodes as well!


    How FHIR Works Across Healthcare Organizations

    FHIR harnesses a modern, web-based approach to connect different healthcare systems, allowing data to flow effortlessly between them.

    With its modular architecture, FHIR can adapt to the diverse needs of various healthcare organizations, from bustling hospitals to research institutions.

    FHIR is built upon a set of resources, like building blocks representing standardized clinical and administrative data.

    These resources are organized into modules, each representing a specific aspect of healthcare data.


    For example, the Patient module has patient demographics, medical history, and care team data. The Observation module captures information on a patient’s vital signs, lab results, and other information in clinical documents.

    For healthcare organizations to exchange critical information in a secure manner using FHIR, they rely on an interoperability layer that transforms the data into a universal format. This layer is an FHIR server, which can be hosted locally or in the cloud. Healthcare organizations can easily access FHIR servers using standard internet protocols like RESTful web services and OAuth 2.0 authentication.

    When one healthcare organization needs to exchange data with another, it sends a request to the other organization’s FHIR server. The proposal indicates the data types, and the server responds by sending the requested data in a standardized format.

    The receiving organization can then use the data in its systems, such as electronic health records, decision support systems, or population health management tools.


    hl7 fhir Resources

    What are FHIR Resources, and How Do They Function?

    FHIR resources are structured documents and messages representing various health and medical entities.

    The FHIR standard defines the structure and content of these documents, which include patient data, insurance claims and billing information, diagnostic and laboratory records, medication use information, and care plans.

    These resources drive effective health information exchange between stakeholders, such as healthcare providers, insurers, and patients.


    Must-Know Fundamentals of FHIR Interoperability

    Here are four important things to know about FHIR interoperability basics:

    • FHIR is built for modern healthcare: It was designed using the latest web technologies and follows a modular approach, making it more flexible and scalable than other healthcare data exchange standards.
    • Flexible and customizable: FHIR resources can be easily extended to accommodate custom data elements and new use cases. This helps developers easily choose the components they require for particular use cases.
    • Promotes data interoperability: It drives the free flow of healthcare data among different systems. This enables healthcare providers to coordinate care more effectively and allows patients to access their health data easily.
    • Being widely adopted: Many major EHR vendors and healthcare organizations already use FHIR-based solutions because of their ease of use and ability to support modern healthcare workflows.
    leverages existing logical

    How Health Entertainment is Transforming Mental Healthcare

    Health entertainment transforms mental healthcare by providing activities and games to improve relaxation, exercise the mind, or provide other forms of therapy.

    These health-themed interactive programs are meant to divert from everyday stressors while helping people recognize signs of depression and seek help more enjoyably. Health entertainments often focus on creating positive experiences with wellness information through:

    • Music listening parties that promote self-care strategies.
    • Guided audio stories that explore mindfulness skills.
    • Videos that highlight new perspectives on relationships between emotion regulation techniques, understanding trauma, and resilience-building resources coupled with quality physical activity instruction.
      The physical activity instruction is specifically designed to address concerns about body image.



    The FHIR standard is a positive approach to data communication and interoperability for the healthcare sector. It provides an efficient way to access, share, and manage health data in various settings.

    Now that you have learned about its features and benefits, it’s time to ensure that your organization takes advantage of this technology as quickly as possible.

    Organizations can improve healthcare outcomes by leveraging the FHIR Standard through effective security protocols such as authentication methods or encryption technologies while ensuring medical information’s safe transmission and accuracy.