Association debuts FHIR-based prototype for data-sharing between consumers and providers
The National Association for Trusted Exchange at HIMSS17 debuted NATE’s Blue Button Directory, a FHIR-based system prototype designed to make it easier for consumers and providers to share data to improve outcomes. FHIR stands for Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, a standard for data formats and elements and an application programming interface for exchanging electronic health records information.
Consumers actively are requesting their medical records and providers want to share them, but there often is a workflow disconnect between the two, the association explained. As part of the Federal Health Architecture’s vignette in the HIMSS17 Interoperability Showcase, the association and its partners are demonstrating how a simple enabling infrastructure can alleviate this problem, the association said.
“One lesson we’ve learned is that merely having the technical capability available is insufficient,” said Aaron Seib, CEO of the National Association for Trusted Exchange. “From a technical perspective, provider-facing direct secure messaging accounts created in compliance with HIPAA and designed to support exchange between providers can readily be configured to enable exchange with consumer-facing direct accounts created in compliance with applicable laws and regulations as enforced by the FTC. The disconnect hasn’t so much been about how to do it technically, it’s been more about how to make it easy for provider organizations to use direct to communicate with patients in a way that fits with their existing workflow and business processes. That’s what the Blue Button Directory is designed to do.”
A lack of facile interoperability between a provider and a consumer can be a detriment to both the provider’s experience and the consumer’s, and can inadvertently cause regulatory issues for staff, the association said. In the Interoperability Showcase, the association is demonstrating how using the right technology in the right way can improve processes for everyone, the association contended. The Blue Button Directory prototype enables patients to discover online how best to submit their request for health information and establishes a secure end-point for the HIPAA-covered entity’s staff responsible for managing these requests, the association explained.
The association’s partners in the NATE Blue Button Directory/FHIR demonstration include Epic, Cerner, DataMotion, Medyear, NewWave Telecom & Technologies, Kno2, Humetrix, and 360ofme.
The National Association for Trusted Exchange currently is seeking partners to bring the NATE Blue Button Directory prototype into full production.