5 Things to Know About HL7 FHIR

A new term spreading (almost like fire) through the healthcare interoperability world is HL7 FHIR, pronounced as “fire.” Here are the Top 5 things I think you should know about this upcoming standard many hope will help solve many current issues in interoperability:

  • FHIR stands for Fast Healthcare Interoperable Resource.
  • FHIR combines the best features of HL7 V2, HL7 V3, and CDA, while leveraging the latest web service technologies.
  • The design of FHIR is based on RESTful web services. This is in contrast to the majority of IHE profiles which are based on SOAP web services. With RESTful web services, the basic HTTP operations are incorporated including Create, Read, Update and Delete.
  • FHIR is based on modular components called “resources,” and these resources can be combined together to solve clinical and administrative problems in a practical way. The resources can be extended and adapted to provide a more manageable solution to the healthcare demand for optionality and customization. Systems can easily read the extensions using the same framework as other resources.
  • In March 2012, the FHIR specification was transferred from Grahame Grieve, creator and architect, to HL7 International and was made freely available. Grieve started work a year prior in response to outcomes from the HL7 Fresh Look task force. FHIR is still being developed by HL7, but the first Draft Standard for Trial Use (DSTU) should be available by the end of 2013.

FHIRHere is a video of Dave Shaver, Corepoint Health CTO and HL7 International committee co-chair, discussing HL7 FHIR with Grahame Grieve, architect of the standard and fellow HL7 International committee co-chair, at HIMSS13:

Watch live streaming video from hibc at livestream.com


robMore from Rob Brull


The following two tabs change content below.

Rob Brull

Rob Brull is the product manager for Corepoint Health. He has worked with software products for over 15 years as both a product manager and sales engineer. Past companies and organizations include Tyco Electronics, Deloitte Consulting, and various distributors of software monitoring and control products. His main focus is to ensure his solutions enable customers to simplify healthcare integration complexities with user-friendly yet powerful software capabilities. This includes meeting applicable Meaningful Use requirements as well as fully supporting related healthcare standards such as CCD, CCR, and greenCDA. Rob is also a Certified HL7 CDA Specialist.


Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...

4 Responses to 5 Things to Know About HL7 FHIR

  1. kwboone April 1, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    Hmmm, clearly you aren’t reading IHE profiles much. The majority of IHE profiles are based on DICOM, then HL7 V2, then HL7 CDA, then SOAP. You might be mistaking frequency for popularity…


  1. 5 Things to Know About HL7 FHIR, by @robbrull | #HITsm | Scoop.it - March 26, 2013

    […] A new term spreading (almost like fire) through the healthcare interoperability world is HL7 FHIR, pronounced as “fire.” Here are the Top 5 things I think you should know…"  […]

  2. Health System Standards – Plan Space from Outer Nine - August 25, 2013

    […] FHIR (intro) (Fast Healthcare Interoperable Resource) seems to be the direction for the future, architected along the lines of RESTful web services rather than older SOAP nonsense. Seems like an interesting origin story for this standard, which is now coming under the HL7 umbrella. […]

  3. Meaningful Use Stage 3 Should Focus on Interoperability HL7 | Definitive Healthcare | Healthcare Provider Research and Databases - November 25, 2014

    […] IT, should switch gears with meaningful use to focus solely on interoperability through use of the FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) standard under HL7, and the use of public application programming interfaces (APIs), […]