A consequential time for legacy systems in healthcare
We are at one of the most consequential times in the long history of interoperability in healthcare.
Currently, there is open speculation about the timing of the much anticipated Final Rules by Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) addressing interoperability and information blocking. As an industry, we are poised to take advantage of a powerful new standard for data exchange in healthcare—Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, or FHIR. We are seeing rapid advances in the standard and in its uptake “in the wild” within the healthcare ecosystem.
Additionally, as a society and with the urging of Federal policy makers, we are on the verge of unfettering patient access to their healthcare data. We are also on the verge of the insistence of greater and more efficient movement of data among payers, providers, and patients. This will rely substantially on the emerging FHIR standards.
And this is not just at the behest of federal policy wonks. The industry itself has also been hard at work aiming to knock down some of the most onerous workflows between payers and providers. This focus includes activities like prior authorizations through efforts such as the HL7 sponsored Da Vinci Project—a collaborative of industry stakeholders including payers and providers and their technology partners. Similar projects are underway such as the ONC sponsored FHIR at Scale Taskforce (FAST) addressing scalability of FHIR at a national scale, the CARIN Alliance which is focused on consumer directed exchange, and many others. The industry isn’t waiting for policy makers and is working hard to improving interoperability on its own.
These changes will be consequential. They will change healthcare, the role of consumers in healthcare, and the relationship among payers and providers and their technology partners. New players will enter the market. It will move fast.
This is a good problem to have but ripping and replacing billions of dollars’ worth of legacy applications overnight is simply unaffordable and unrealistic.
And as these changes roll rapidly across the industry, we will be faced with a question: “How do we enable our legacy systems, that hold and move all of healthcare’s data today, to connect to this new FHIR API ecosystem?”
– Jerry Rankin, Strategy Director for Clinical Interoperability, Infor Healthcare
- Cloverleaf Integration Suite for clinical interoperability