Health Language Blog

Release of 2017 ISA is Good News for Interoperability

Posted on 02/08/17 | Comments

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently released the 2017 Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA), an update to the 2016 version that holds great promise for advancing health information exchange. National Coordinator Vindell Washington hailed the release as “a key step toward achieving the goals” outlined in the Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap and Interoperability Pledge announced earlier this year. Thus, the Interoperability theme continues as seen with the recent Cures Act and MIPS. Even HHS Secretary nominee Tom Price during his confirmation hearings stated that the federal government’s role “ought to be interoperability: to make sure the different systems can talk to each other so it inures to the benefit of the patient.”

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Topics: interoperability, government, ISA, Unique Device Identifier, ONC

The Impacts of the 21st Century Cures Act

Posted on 01/17/17 | Comments

The 21st Century Cures Act was signed into law just last month.  This broad law reduces the bureaucracy for drug approval, provides billions of dollars to the NIH for research, and provides funding to state governments to deal with the opioid epidemic.  But along with these touted benefits, this law includes significant impacts for healthcare IT. 

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Topics: EHR, data normalization, interoperability, patient engagement, Consumer Friendly Descriptions, patient empowerment

Terminology Server on FHIR at HL7 Connectathon 13

Posted on 10/04/16 | Comments

Two weeks ago Health Language attended the HL7 FHIR Connectathon in Baltimore, Maryland.  An impressive 170 individuals were in attendance with 120 individuals participating in the actual Connectathon. This was a new HL7 Connectathon record! The objective of the event was to achieve the goals pre-established for each of the FHIR technology tracts.  The accomplishments of the different groups after the day and a half were outstanding.

We participated in the event with a FHIR Standard for Trial Use (STU) 3 conformant terminology server, which was able to meet the needs of many participants wanting to look up healthcare data by code or use a phrase to search healthcare terminology standards like ICD-10, SNOMED CT, LOINC and RxNorm.  Participants could also accomplish similar tasks with value sets available on our server from NCQA and VSAC.  Those sending requests to our FHIR server were still able to take full advantage of our proprietary synonyms, provider friendly terminology, and mappings between content sets, which demonstrated Health Languages market differentiation.

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Topics: interoperability, enterprise terminology management, FHIR

FHIR: An Evolving Opportunity

Posted on 09/08/16 | Comments

Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) from Health Level Seven (HL7) is making waves across the healthcare industry. In fact, EHR vendors including Cerner, Epic and Meditech are quickly embracing the next-generation framework for its potential to advance data mobility and interoperability.

While still under development, the FHIR framework leverages the latest web standards and applies a tight focus on implementation, while also offering significant flexibility. In terms of more meaningful exchange of information, FHIR will provide the infrastructure to make data:

  • Available easily on demand
  • Retrievable across disparate EMR and other HIT applications
  • Understandable using common healthcare language

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Topics: HL7, interoperability, FHIR

SNOMED CT: Why it matters to you

Posted on 08/03/16 | Comments

In Part One of our Terminology Standards blog series, we introduced the goal of using industry standards to achieve semantic interoperability and promote better information sharing. The second blog tackled coding and billing standards. This third installment describes the importance of SNOMED CT as the foundation for standardizing clinical content in EHRs.

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Topics: SNOMED, data normalization, interoperability, SNOMED CT, standards

Understand the Three Levels of Interoperability

Posted on 11/12/14 | Comments

Healthcare may have been among the last industries to automate, but the sector has made up for lost time.

Indeed, electronic data and healthcare IT (HIT) systems have expanded rapidly in recent years. But technical innovation has developed in isolated pockets. The first wave of HIT development took place in the billing and claims departments. Localized development of ancillary clinical systems such as laboratory, radiology, and pharmacy followed the rollout of administrative systems. More recently, the healthcare industry’s focus has shifted to electronic health record (EHR) systems.

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Topics: semantic interoperability, interoperability