So, the idea behind HL7 FHIR is that the EMR industry last month collectively decided to join the 21st century, and start using Restful interfaces as an interoperability standard.
Before HL7 FHIR, the standard for HL7 had been point-to-point communications; and the industry best-practice for any web services was to use WS-Security. (Personally, I think people chose the technology in part because of the SOAP acronym, knowing that it had the right branding to be sold within the industry; even if the underlying technology was a nightmare.)
Anyhow, HL7 FHIR is an industry initiative to bring Restful OAuth2 interfaces to EMR systems. As such, we’ll probably be looking at two packages: an HL7 FHIR focused OAuth2 server; and an an HL7 FHIR client. The client may very likely to be simply forked from the existing account-oauth packages that make accounts-facebook and accounts-github work. The server is going to be a bit more difficult, and require us creating an OAuth2 server; and then packaging it up.
The traditional architecture approach for an HL7 interface would be to have an inbound query log; so it’s very possible we’ll expose an HL7 collection with hook and triggers, that the rest of the application can inspect and interact with. The HL7 FHIR package’s job will be to set up the OAuth2 server, authenticate requests, parse the API endpoints, log the query to the interface log, then fire off various hooks and triggers.
We’ll probably need to create a reference implementation of FHIR/MeaningfulUse compliant collections and/or create a rules engine for applications that choose not to use the reference implementation.
With all that said-and-done, we should have one or two packages that will allow us to connect to the following electronic medical records, healthcare networks, healthcare information exchanges, research networks, and provider networks:
American Medical Association
Amida Technology Solutions
Care at Hand
Carolinas HealthCare System
Hackensack University Medical Center
Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative
Office of National Coordinator
Optum (UnitedHealth Group)
Reliant Medical Group
River Rock Associates
The Advisory Board Company
The Sequoia Project (formerly Healtheway)
UC Santa Cruz
US Postal Service
xG Health Solutions
So, it’s a pretty significant initiative; and will position Clinical Meteor as being interoperable with all the major players in the future!