What's next for FHIR? 5 notes on version 5

Health Level Seven International, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based nonprofit organization more commonly known as HL7, released details on the next version of its Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standards framework Jan. 20.

HL7 develops standards for the content and structure of electronic health information to support data exchange, integration and retrieval. Today, FHIR is one of the most popular interoperability standards used for exchanging electronic data in the healthcare industry, according to the ONC.

HL7 published its most recent FHIR version, called FHIR release 4, Jan. 2.

Five notes on HL7's plan for FHIR release 5:

1. HL7 plans to build on its collaborations with public health agencies to improve data standards for bio-surveillance and mortality reporting.

2. The next version of FHIR will include standards that provide access to a complete patient record, specifications related to genomic reporting and improved integration with financial processes.

3. HL7 plans to move more content to "normative" status, which it rolled out in FHIR release 4. A normative standard means future updates will be "backward compatible," according to the nonprofit.

4. The nonprofit hopes to move resources such as diagnostic reports, imaging studies and medication requests to normative status in the next version of FHIR.

5. HL7 plans to debut FHIR release 5 in the third quarter of 2020. However, the group will ask its members for input on whether it should extend this timeframe to establish "more convergence on a single version."

To read HL7's blog post on its plans for FHIR release 5, click here.

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