Our December meeting of Health TechNet was held on Friday, December 15th, at Nelson Mullins’ offices in Washington, D.C.
The feature topic was the adoption of FHIR to foster interoperability and an update on the newly configured Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) at DHHS. As healthcare records are becoming increasingly digitized, patient electronic health records must be available, discoverable, and understandable, as well as structured and standardized. HL7 (Health Level Seven International) has been addressing these challenges by producing healthcare data exchange and information modeling standards for over 20 years. FHIR is a new specification based on emerging industry approaches. FHIR aims to simplify implementation without sacrificing information integrity and providing for exchanging data between healthcare applications. It is being increasingly adopted and encouraged by government agencies.
Our speakers on these developments were Julie Skapik, who until recently was at ONC and is now at Cognitive Medicine. We also heard from Adam Culbertson of HIMSS, who is following these themes and speaking on them frequently.
On a related topic, we also heard from Dr. Farrokh Alemi, who is a professor at George Mason University, on a novel approach they have developed to integrate data across electronic medical records.
We also took a few minutes to discuss recent developments on Capitol Hill aimed at removing the individual insurance mandate, as well as the proposed acquisition of Aetna by CVS.