The health IT industry has been buzzing about FHIR (or fast healthcare interoperability resources — pronounced “fire”) since it was introduced by Health Level Seven (HL7) as a proposed interoperability standard. HL7 is a not-for-profit organization that has been developing ANSI-accredited standards for hospital information systems since 1987.

Take a moment to think about the various administrative systems in place in today’s health systems (such as billing and scheduling) and the many disparate clinical systems (like laboratory services, radiology, etc.) with which they need to interact. HL7 standards created a standardized application programming interface (API) to enable the exchange of these business and clinical transactions. In other words, it created a common language that all health IT systems could use to interpret and process medical records and data. ….more