Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Project Argonaut from HL7 Seems To Be An Important Change In Health IT That Has Real Implications For Australia.

These two articles appeared a day or so ago.
First we have:

HL7 to Accelerate FHIR Specification

DEC 5, 2014 7:15am ET
With a coalition of providers and health IT vendors, Health Level Seven International has launched a project to accelerate development and adoption of HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR).
Called the Argonaut Project, the initiative seeks to rapidly develop a first-generation FHIR-based application programming interface and core data services specification to enable expanded information sharing for electronic health records and other health IT. The goal is to hasten current FHIR development efforts to provide industry with “practical and focused FHIR profiles and implementation guides” by the spring of 2015, according to HL7.
FHIR, which leverages the latest web standards, has been gaining momentum as an open healthcare data standard. In October, the Health IT Standards and Policy Committees’ JASON Task Force recommended that the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT mobilize an accelerated standards development process to ready an initial specification of FHIR for certification to support Meaningful Use Stage 3.
Lots more here:
Second we have:

Epic, Cerner, others join HL7 project

Posted on Dec 05, 2014
By Mike Miliard, Editor
Health Level Seven International has launched the Argonaut Project – a collaborative comprising healthcare heavy-hitters such as Epic, Cerner, MEDITECH, Mayo Clinic, Intermountain and Partners HealthCare – to speed the development and adoption of HL7’s standards framework, FHIR.
As it works to spread FHIR – it's pronounced "fire," and stands for Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources – HL7's Argonaut Project touts the participation of blue chip EHR developers, health systems and research groups, including:
  • athenahealth  
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center  
  • Cerner  
  • Epic
  • Intermountain Healthcare
  • Mayo Clinic
  • McKesson
  • Partners HealthCare System  
  • SMART at the Boston Children’s Hospital Informatics Program
  • The Advisory Board Company
FHIR is billed as a next-generation framework that makes use of the latest Web-based standards, with a focus on putting them to work in healthcare interoperability. HL7 officials say FHIR is a so-called "RESTful" application programming interface -- an approach that's based on modern Internet conventions and is commonly deployed in other industries.
As healthcare grapples with data exchange between different systems, FHIR is a "significant advance," according to HL7, in enabling the access and delivery of information, offering enormous flexibility. For patients and providers, its versatility can be applied to mobile devices, Web-based apps, cloud communications, and EHR data-sharing using modular components.
Speaking at RSNA 2014 in Chicago earlier this week, former ONC Chief Scientist Doug Fridsma, MD, who was in charge of the federal agency's interoperability standards, said there was only so much the government could do.
"We need the private sector to step up and do a lot more of this," said Fridsma. "Private sector engagement is going to be critical."
This is just the kind of project he's talking about.
“Our national health IT policy has always focused on the adoption of private sector-led standards,” said Aneesh Chopra, former U.S. chief technology officer, in a press statement announcing the Argonaut Project. “Today’s acceleration initiative draws on that collaborative spirit and will translate into better technologies to support better healthcare for patients and providers.”
The Argonaut Project aims to quickly develop a first-generation FHIR-based API and core data services specification to enable expanded information sharing for EHRs and other health IT based on Internet standards and architectural patterns and style, say HL7 officials. The project will accelerate current FHIR development efforts to provide practical and focused FHIR profiles and implementation guides to the industry by the spring of 2015.
Lots more here:
It looks to me that the Argonaut Project is going to be a ‘game changer’ in terms of how we architect health information exchanges and how information flows are enabled and facilitated.
With the intent in this development being enabling much richer information exchange between the full range of commercial Health IT vendors the implications for our providers, as well as the PCEHR are pretty obvious. Everyone needs to watch closely and start to plan how they will take advantage as the project moves forward.
A ‘word to the wise’!

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