FHIR Certification

FHIR, or Fast healthcare Interoperability Resources, is a standard for the electronic exchange of Healthcare data. It improves the exchange of healthcare data from healthcare organization to healthcare organization.

FHIR has had multiple releases, with the latest being R5. R5 is composed of 157 different resources. FHIR resources break healthcare data down into categories, for example, Individuals (patients and practitioners), Management (encounters and episodes of care), Diagnostics (labs and imaging) and Financial (billing and payment). FHIR resources represent different aspects of healthcare data and define the data elements, constraints and relationships between resources.

Resources are assigned maturity levels, with Normative being the highest level and Draft being the lowest maturity level. Normative resources are approved and considered stable. They have gone through review and production implementation in a variety of environments. Draft resources, on the other hand, are not considered to be complete or reviewed enough to be ready for implementation and are considered to be in a development stage.

FHIR uses RESTful APIs, JSON and XML technologies to provide a data model for healthcare providers that is extensible. Data can be stored and queried across multiple systems and applications. As FHIR is adopted worldwide, this combination of resources and RESTful APIs will improve healthcare worldwide. For example, a patient from France arrives in an Emergency Room in the United States. The Emergency Room needs to know their health history and current Medications. A simple API call would provide that Emergency Room with all of the patients information, which could save their life.

Lack of FHIR knowledge has been the largest barrier to FHIR adoption. Trying to figure out how to gain an understanding of FHIR was the biggest hurdle I faced. I was motivated to learn FHIR, but did not know where to start. I reviewed the FHIR specification and felt even more overwhelmed. I found that the best way to gain an understanding of FHIR is through the certification process. I set a goal to get certified, with a target date in mind. This forced me to understand and dive into the FHIR standard, with certification as the prize. I signed up for The Comprehensive HL7 FHIR Proficiency Exam Preparation Course and dove in.

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Written by

Marie SmithTest Automation Engineer