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Cerner says it is first vendor to adopt the normative version of FHIR

EHR vendor contends that latest version of interoperability standard is mature and stable to ensure app development.

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Kansas City-based Cerner has embraced the latest version of HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard to encourage third-party developers to build apps on top of its platforms.

By adopting FHIR Release 4, the normative version of the interoperability standard, Cerner contends that it is positioned at the “leading edge” in creating healthcare apps and opening its application programming interfaces (APIs) to developers to foster innovation.

“We’ve invested in R4 in a significant way as part of our broader strategy at Cerner around advancing interoperability as well as enhancing our ability to facilitate third-party provider, clinical apps and consumer apps integration into our platforms,” says Matt Obenhaus, director and solution executive for Cerner’s Open Developer Experience.

“It’s extremely important to get to that normative standard,” adds Obenhaus, who emphasizes that R4 assures the maturity and stability of the FHIR standard for developers building on top of Cerner’s Millennium electronic health record and HealtheIntent population health platforms.

Stan Huff, MD, chief medical informatics officer at Intermountain Healthcare, says he is excited to see Cerner advancing their capabilities as a platform.

“I think it is good for the whole healthcare IT ecosystem to have strong support for open standards-based APIs and services,” comments Huff. “I hope other healthcare software developers will follow suit. It will lead to the ability to share applications and knowledge in a way that will improve the care we provide for patients, and decrease the cost of software, while improving usability.”

Cerner has already released a couple of APIs based on R4, according to Obenhaus, adding that “much of our 2019 development roadmap will be continuing to develop additional APIs on the R4 standard.”

“It’s incredibly important that major vendors such as Cerner stay at the forefront of advancing the availability and maturity of the FHIR standard,” says Micky Tripathi, manager of the Argonaut Project, an industry-wide effort to accelerate the development and adoption of FHIR. “Cerner’s moving forward and implementing this latest FHIR version is an important signal to regulators that the industry is committed to maintaining the rapid momentum of FHIR adoption.”

Following on the heels of HL7’s December 2018 publication of R4, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT in February released a proposed rule—for the first time—requiring FHIR as the standard to which developers must certify their APIs under the ONC Health IT Certification Program.

Also See: Proposed ONC rule requires FHIR interoperability standard

Specifically, ONC’s proposal seeks to make FHIR Release 2 a requirement. However, Obenhaus says that Cerner—a founding member of the Argonaut Project—is urging the agency to have the industry “coalesce around R4” instead.

Tripathi points out that both ONC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have issued draft rules recently that would require providers and health insurers to make available FHIR-based APIs. “The overwhelming consensus of the industry is that these rules should be based on the latest balloted version, which is FHIR R4,” he adds.

“For many of us, the pace at which our partners in both the private and public sectors have embraced HL7 FHIR has been remarkable,” observes Chuck Jaffe, MD, HL7’s CEO. “As other segments of the diverse community embrace R4, we will move closer to interoperability, and our patients will be the beneficiaries.”

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