Cerner adds FHIR power

Partners with Geisinger, xG Health Solutions to build new apps, boost interoperability
By Bernie Monegain
10:34 AM
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Rocket blast off

Health IT giant Cerner is working with Geisinger Health System and xG Health Solutions, Geisinger's commercial spinoff, to enable the use of emerging SMART on FHIR industry standards. The idea is to facilitate use of software applications across open platform EHRs, such as Cerner Millennium.

Geisinger and xG Health will be able to use these new draft standards to deploy their apps to run inside Cerner Millennium and other FHIR-compliant EHR systems.
 
FHIR – pronounced "fire" –  is an acronym for Fast Health Interoperability Resources.

As Cerner executives explain it, the SMART-on-FHIR approach enables clinicians to access the “pluggable apps” directly within their workflows. Cerner developers have enabled seamless integration of the xG Health apps into the Cerner Millennium open platform as a way to eliminate disjointed workflows of standalone or “sidecar” applications.

[See also: Epic, Cerner, others join HL7 project.]

“SMART on FHIR creates an important new kind of interoperability,” said David McCallie, Jr., senior vice president, medical informatics at Cerner, in a news release. “Application interoperability will enable innovative developers to reach a broader market of potential users, while at the same time enabling open platform EHR suppliers to provide a more robust set of offerings to their clients.”

Cerner, xG Health and Geisinger’s first initiative under the agreement, first piloted within Cerner Millennium in October 2014, is a Geisinger-developed, web-based application for managing ambulatory rheumatology encounters. The EnrG | Rheum app – the first of a suite of xG Health EnrG apps – synthesizes information from multiple sources regarding an individual patient and presents it in a clinically useful graphical view along with clinical decision support aimed at boosting quality and reducing cost of care.

[See also: Interoperability: Now Geisinger has an app for that.]

Clinicians at two sites saw a 26 percent increase in productivity, due to a decrease in chart review and documentation time, while using the EnrG |Rheum software over a two-year period, according to Geisinger officials.

“Cerner’s leadership role in supporting and implementing the draft SMART on FHIR standard has made them a great partner to work with and to help make Geisinger-vetted care models available to Cerner customers,” said Earl Steinberg, MD,  CEO of xG Health, in a statement. “As the industry advances toward improved and robust interoperability capabilities, this type of collaboration can help transform the way care is delivered.”

This summer, xG Health is expected to launch EnrG | Rheum, which will be available through the Cerner Store and other channels.