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HL7 chief Charles Jaffe to update on FHIR Argonaut Project progress at HIMSS16

CEO says focus has been on making interoperability faster and cheaper.
By Chris Hayden
07:49 AM
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Charles Jaffe, MD, CEO of HL7, is scheduled to return to the HIMSS Annual Conference

More than a year after its implementation, Charles Jaffe, MD, CEO of HL7, is scheduled to return to the HIMSS Annual Conference to update the industry on the accomplishments to date and shed light on developments coming in the near future. 

HL7 launched the Argonaut Project in collaboration with healthcare IT vendors and providers to accelerate the adoption of Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources and, according to Jaffe, there are several exciting developments to discuss.

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“First of all, the key that separates FHIR from some of the other standards is that it was created from the start for the implementation community,” Jaffe said. “The focus has been around making their process faster, cheaper and incrementally easier.”

One of the most tangible achievements has been the development of a rheumatology app by Geisinger Health System and xG Health Solutions, a company founded by Geisinger, that talks directly with Epic and Cerner EHRs in real-time.

[Also: Duke liberates Epic EHR data with Apple HealthKit and FHIR]

“This provides data access for everyone in the healthcare continuum,” Jaffe said. “And it works out-of-the-box.”

Other continued Argonaut developments, according to Jaffe, are focusing on accessing data, not necessarily writing it.

Both Partners HealthCare and Lockheed Martin have recently developed programs to give users access to data across platforms, and Jaffe credits FHIR for much of the progress.

The Argonaut Project is also working with EHR providers to speed up the development process.

“Within Argonaut we have a series of rapid development protocols we call ‘sprint,’” Jaffe said.

Rather than a typical 3-5 month development cycle, they’ve implemented a 2-3 week cycle to come back more quickly with enhancements and improvements.

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“It’s worked extremely well,” Jaffe said. “A lot of the success we’ve had is based on the success of the sprint program.”

FHIR is now being utilized on four continents and brings developers together at HL7 meetings, but also smaller groups at events like connectathons that offer unique collaboration opportunities for the implementation community.

The session “HL7 Argonaut Project: One Year Later,” is slated for Wednesday, March 3, 2016 from 4:00 – 5:00 pm in the Sands Expo Convention Center Rock of Ages Theater.

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This story is part of our ongoing coverage of the HIMSS16 conference. Follow our live blog for real-time updates, and visit Destination HIMSS16 for a full rundown of our reporting from the show. For a selection of some of the best social media posts of the show, visit our Trending at #HIMSS16 hub.