HL7 publishes a new version of its FHIR specification

Release 3 of the interoperability standard touts more utility for decision support and quality measures, and better functionality for clinical workflows.
By Mike Miliard
03:08 PM
HL FHIR release 3

A new release of FHIR, the fast-spreading interoperability spec developed by HL7, was published on March 22, drawing on the work of hundreds of healthcare and technology professionals.

In a blog post on the HL7 website, FHIR Product Director Grahame Grieve said the Release 3 trial use specification aimed to address improvements related to implementation experience, alignment with other interoperability standards and internal quality review processes.

[Also: FHIR holds big promise for interoperability, but will need to coexist with other standards for the foreseeable future]

Among the changes that will be most useful to healthcare providers, he pointed to more support for clinical decision support and quality measures and better functionality to cover certain clinical workflows.

On the technical side, Release 3 features more robust development of terminology services and support for financial management, he said. In addition, it defines a RDF (resource description framework) format, and describes how FHIR relates to linked data. It also features a more mature RESTful API and conformance framework, as well as assorted other incremental improvements.

"The FHIR specification is very much the living record of the community of users who share the experience of trying to solve problems with it," said Grieve.

HL7 also published the first release of its U.S. Core Implementation Guide on March 22. It's meant as a base profile for FHIR use cases in this country, and should serve as a framework for other guides from ONC and others to build upon.

[Also: Argonaut Project building on success with FHIR implementation guide]

At HIMSS17 this past month HL7 member Micky Tripathi touted the value of such guides. If interoperability standards like FHIR are "ingredients," he explained, an implementation guide is akin to "cookbook" explaining how they can be put to work.

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

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