Health Language Blog

Terminology Server on FHIR at HL7 Connectathon 13

Posted on 10/04/16

Two weeks ago Health Language attended the HL7 FHIR Connectathon in Baltimore, Maryland.  An FHIR.pngimpressive 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.

Participants often described how their solutions are dependent on calling a terminology server, and asked whether we could support their use cases. Once again, the real-life value and capabilities of FHIR were readily apparent in our server and content. In addition, we learned about areas where the specification still needed development.

Before the Connectathon, we were skeptical about the claim that FHIR is implementer friendly. But our skepticism vanished as implementers finished under budget and happy with the ease of applying the FHIR resources to an actual deployment.

After a very useful and educational eight days at the HL7 Working Group Meeting our confidence in the value that FHIR will provide to the healthcare system around the world was reaffirmed.  We are even more committed to supporting and participating in HL7’s efforts to further refine the FHIR standard.  We look forward to fully realizing the impact of this powerful technology on the provision of healthcare.

Topics: interoperability, enterprise terminology management, FHIR

About the Author

Christopher Herzog, PharmD is a Clinical Informatics Manager at Health Language. He graduated from the University Of Utah School Of Pharmacy. As a pharmacist he practiced in many capacities including as a clinical pediatric pharmacist, an adult bone marrow transplant and oncology specialist, and a retail pharmacy manager. He has extensive knowledge of healthcare terminology, especially in the pharmacy and lab terminology domains, and expertise in product innovation and in in data governance consulting. He has previous experience with implementing EHRs, HIEs, managing healthcare terminology content repositories, and designing a terminology service based on the UMLS for a population health initiative.