- By Adam Mazmanian
- Mar 09, 2018
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
APIs And FHIR Continue To Push Forward At An Increasing Pace!
This appeared last week:
The Department of Veterans Affairs is going all in on application programming interfaces – APIs – as a way of delivering data to health care partners and outside developers.
The API effort is being organized via a new project, dubbed Lighthouse. Lighthouse is an API management platform that makes data feeds available to developers looking to incorporate VA data into online tools and applications.
The big picture, as announced by VA Secretary David Shulkin at the Health Information and Management Systems conference in Las Vegas, is that the veterans' agency is supporting industry health data standards including the API standard FHIR.
Shulkin introduced a health data "pledge" that has already been adopted by a roster of health systems including the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic. This is designed to accelerate the adoption of the FHIR standard – short for Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources -- as a means to getting health data to work across different healthcare system and different technology platforms.
The API standard already got a federal boost this week when the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that Medicare claims data would be available via Blue Button 2.0 using the FHIR standard.
The more systems that take the "pledge," the more reach the FHIR standard will have. VA has leverage to push the API standard because it's the single largest health system in the U.S., and increasingly its patient population is being given the flexibility to seek private care.
The move comes as VA is set to close on a multibillion deal with Cerner to replace the agency's homegrown Vista electronic health record with a version of the system being adopted by the Department of Defense. To sign the deal, VA needs approval from the House and Senate Appropriations committees to reallocate some 2018 funds. According to a Capitol Hill source, the move is being considered as part of the ongoing negotiations to fund the government before the current stopgap appropriation expires on March 23.
It is interesting to see how the momentum is building for API usage and FHIR. Clearly this approach has considerable value for vendors and users.
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Wednesday, March 21, 2018