Where Progress Comes Together

Last week I attended the annual meeting of the HSPC – the Health Services Platform Consortium. HSPC is a group of Healthcare Provider Organizations, Health IT firms, Implementation and Services Organizations working together toward a platform of interoperability, where health data is accessible to applications and systems outside the single-EHR walls.

HSPC is uniquely positioned to help push the Interoperability goal forward because:
  • It is primarily driven by Health Provider Organizations – not just Health IT vendors
  • Some of the large specialty organizations are members of HSPC (ACOH, AAFP, ACS) — with the primary goal to be able to implement best-practices, clinical guidelines, and decision support, across the wide variety of EHRs in use by their members.
  • HSPC is not a Standards Development Organization (SDO), like HL7 or OMG. We need standards, obviously. But we also need organizations such as HSPC to push for adoption, to provide vendor-neutral sandboxes, and to help remove other interoperability obstacles, such as terminology coordination.

Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, or FHIR

I believe that the industry is in agreement that FHIR is the future for interoperable apps, and the key technology component for the concept of an interoperable platform. However, adoption isn’t going fast enough. We need many organizations, HSPC and others, to keep driving the industry forward. Here’s my litmus test for progress. When people explain FHIR, they usually use the Bilirubin app as the example. It’s a great app, and an excellent illustration of how to use FHIR. The Bilirubin app has become the FHIR poster child. I’m worried that there aren’t many other examples! So when we start seeing less Bilirubin, and more other FHIR apps, we’ll know that we’re on the right track – more examples, more adoption, more use.

Current best example of FHIR

Visualization of bilirubin data clarifies clinical choices.

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