FHIR - a new approach to developing standards

FHIR promises to speed up production of standards and make it possible for clinicians to receive more information across any patient pathway.

Working with NHS Digital, clinicians, care professionals, system suppliers (through INTEROPen), HL7 and others, the PRSB is testing an approach based on a new standard called Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR). A new international standard from HL7, FHIR is being considered for adoption by NHS Digital and by NHS England. Existing record standards have been based on transfers of care and structured documents such as discharge or admission summaries. FHIR supports the transfer of data at a more granular level (e.g. allergies, medications, diagnoses) and therefore is suited to supporting new models of care and interoperability. This means that future FHIR based standards will facilitate vital information sharing such as real-time shared records between professionals and with patients/carers, and supporting health apps and opportunities for self-management of care particularly for people with long-term conditions. The new approach is one of collaboration bringing faster development using existing resources in a more agile way, and with on-going iterative development. PRSB’s role will continue to be clinical and professional assurance.

Key dates

Projected completion date: End March 2018