FHIR in practice: some concrete applications

FHIR Amaron

Everyone is on the same page: FHIR is becoming THE standard to unlock healthcare data. Our customers and the Belgian government are rushing to jump on the train. And we at Amaron are here to assist them in making that jump in a safe and controlled way.

Concrete FHIR initiatives and projects include Ghent University Hospital with CoZo, the hospitals of the E17 network, several laboratories and the AZ Alma hospital.

CoZo makes patient-related problems centrally available

Over time, the aim is for the EPRs of all Belgian hospitals to make the data of the so-called ‘care set profiles’ (problems, diagnoses, etc.) available in a structured way. The FHIR standard  is playing a key role here.

At Ghent University Hospital, the SHIFT project has taken off. The aim of SHIFT, which stands for Structured Healthcare InFormation Transmural, is to create a well-functioning solution that allows healthcare organisations to make data on patient-related problems transmurally available via CoZo. Take the example of a patient admitted to a Belgian hospital: healthcare providers can immediately check via CoZo whether this patient has had an allergic reaction to certain drugs in the past.

How will this work? CoZo will retrieve data from the five hospitals participating in the SHIFT project through FHIR queries. At CoZo, we will install a FHIR Station for this purpose. For participating hospitals that do not yet have a FHIR repository and/or gateway, we can additionally provide a FHIR Box or FHIR Station, if desired.

SHIFT is one of the ‘data capability’ projects selected by the Belgian government for the reuse of health data outside the hospital context.

E17 network collects birth care and HOST data

A ‘data capability project’ has also been initiated at the E17 hospital network. Here, the aim is to retrieve birth care data from the various E17 hospitals via FHIR, and have it centrally available for statistical purposes (secondary use of data). Based on the information from the seven hospitals, the network can, for example, quickly map how many caesarean sections were performed.

We will do something similar with HOST (Hospital Outbreak Support Teams) data. Based on the collected data, the hospitals in the E17 network will gain insight into the prevailing infections, influenza for example, and the evolution of infection pressure over time.

In this project as well, we will centrally install a FHIR Station. In addition, we can provide a FHIR Box and/or FHIR Station at hospitals that do not yet have their own FHIR repository and/or gateway, if needed.

Laboratories unlock results to eHealth

The Belgian government is asking laboratories to make their results queryable and unlockable via FHIR: both to the Belgian government’s eHealth platform and to primary care software packages that support FHIR.

Anticipating this, several laboratories have started using an Amaron FHIR Box; this is a data repository in which medical data is stored in FHIR format. The conversion is done using processors that translate HL7 messages into FHIR. This supports not only HL7 ORU for results, but also SIU for appointments and ADT for patient data.

AZ Alma makes document archive searchable via FHIR

AZ Alma has an ADT processor with a FHIR interface on top. This allows them to attach relevant, scanned documents to the right patient in the archive.

In addition to ADT, a similar FHIR interface is also possible for SIU and ORU.