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Azure API for FHIR Expands Possibilities for FHIR Workflows

Azure API for FHIR

Azure API for FHIR Expands Possibilities for FHIR Workflows

by Rob Brull [1] | Mar 14, 2019 | Blog [2]

Microsoft recently announced the availability of the Azure API for FHIR®. The Azure API for FHIR [3] provides an enterprise-grade FHIR repository that a user can provision and start using in minimal time. With high performance and low latency, it provides implementers more flexibility when deciding to incorporate FHIR into their overall integration environment.

Since the first draft of the HL7 FHIR [4] standard in 2012, there have been high hopes about how the new standard could be utilized to solve integration workflow challenges. One question has always been: Where do I get a production-ready FHIR repository that will allow me to leverage FHIR to solve my unique workflows?

One answer might be that each EHR [5] that is 2015 Edition certified for Promoting Interoperability [6] must have an open API, and in most—if not all cases—those open APIs are FHIR-based. However, the EHRs only give limited data access to users via the open API, which in turn limits flexibility to solve workflow challenges.

Having a production-ready FHIR repository such as the Azure API allows implementers to overcome this hurdle. There are alternatives to Microsoft as well, such as Google Cloud’s FHIR API. These FHIR APIs can be utilized as a repository to store and retrieve healthcare data for workflow orchestration in a complex integration environment.

In a demo to the Corepoint Health User Community in March, Mike Stockemer, Senior Sales Engineer, showed how users of Corepoint Integration Engine [7] could leverage the Azure API for FHIR to solve integration workflow challenges.

One of the demonstrated workflows utilized the Azure API for FHIR to store ADT information for a given patient. Corepoint Integration Engine retrieved the data via an HL7 [8] V2 ADT message. Critical data in that message was required to be added to an order message that would later be generated as part of the patient’s visit. Because of that, the data from the HL7 V2 ADT message was parsed and stored into the Azure API for FHIR repository.

When the HL7 V2 ORM order message came through for the patient, the required data for that patient was retrieved from the FHIR repository and added to the HL7 V2 ORM message before it was forwarded to the downstream system at a remote facility.

HL7 FHIR has much to offer healthcare IT. Having open API access to EHR’s is a major first step in getting at least limited access to EHR data. As the healthcare community figures out what else FHIR can do to solve workflow challenges, having a production-ready FHIR repository at the disposal of implementers is a major next step for the industry. It creates flexibility in implementation and allows creative juices to begin to flow for those who have been waiting for more and better tools to help solve integration challenges.

Corepoint Integration Engine has always been a key player in solving integration challenges, and will have even more power to do so with tools such as the Azure API for FHIR at the disposal of implementers. To see how Corepoint Integration Engine can leverage FHIR in conjunction with the Azure API for FHIR, please submit a demo request here [9].