Thursday, March 29, 2018

Will FHIR replace HL7?

PARCA eNews – Mar. 20, 2018 – At the February HL7 Working Group meeting in New Orleans in February it was difficult to find people still working on HL7 version 2.X development, according to PARCA board member Herman Oosterwijk.

The question of FHIR versus HL7 continues to be raised, but the differences between the two make replacing one with the other problematic. The take-away from the meeting prompted Oosterwijk to write an insightful 10–point examination of the question looking at the myths and truths of FHIR and what it does and doesn’t do that may keep HL7 around for some time to come. 

Oosterwijk says that while there is a lot to like about FHIR, like HL7, it has limitations that are impeding its widespread adoption. As an example, he says the notion of FHIR being an all-encompassing standard is a myth. He says FHIR only covers about 80 percent of the most common use cases, with the remaining 20 percent covered by extensions, some of which are proprietary and as such an obstacle to being a standard.

In the end, he says FHIR deserves a thorough look but before implementing it, you need to do due diligence before jumping in with both feet.

To read Herman's full 10-point examination of FHIR, click here.

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