What is FHIR? The quick-and-dirty

Posted January 12, 2021
By Miona Short

The discourse around FHIR has been growing continually for a few years. Healthcare veterans who have been engaged this topic since the advent of FHIR are the purveyors of the current conversation. Their views are intricate and informed by a dexterous knowledge of healthcare as an industry. What is sometimes missing though are the more foundational aspects of this knowledge.

In this blog we give you the basic rundown as well as some resources for understanding FHIR more thoroughly.

1. the quick: a definition

FHIR (Fast Health Interoperable Resources) is an HL7 standard that allows for the exchange of particular groups of healthcare data, known as resources. A resource is a defined packet of data that includes the information relevant to a particular theme. For example, if we define “grocery store” as a resource, the we know the relevant data inside includes: bread, juice, milk, and vegetables, to name a few. If you want to some examples of FHIR resources, we’ve created a short game to help you identify them.

Redox Product Designer Nick Hatt goes into more detail in this video that explains APIs as a concept and answers the question: What is FHIR?

Customer Marketing pro, George McLaughlin answers questions about FHIR for those who don’t want all the technical detail.

2. the dirty: context in brief

Accessing and exchanging data across patient care networks is: painful, inefficient, cumbersome, etc. The ONC and CMS[1] seeks to simplify this process and thus released regulatory requirements to drive forward healthcare data accessibility and interoperability. The fundamental change is this: certified EHRs are required to enable support for a subset of FHIR APIs by the end of 2022. All conversations regarding FHIR as a national standard is an analysis of this fact.

Redox President Niko Skievaski has some recent thoughts about the new ONC FHIR regulations.

Wanna know what Redox is doing about FHIR? Check out Nijay’s Redox on FHIR session from our most recent Quarterly event.


[1] Defined in our health IT glossary here