It all begins with an understanding of what has enabled healthcare organizations to even consider implementing something as large and complex as patient health data interoperability. Interoperability is made possible by the fact that the healthcare industry adopted a common healthcare data standard exchange a few years ago that has been, by all measurement, a qualified success. This data standard is called FHIR, which stands for Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, and is pronounced “FIRE”.
The adoption of FHIR across the spectrum of health data is also a rather unheralded achievement in that it has set the groundwork for a precipitous change in the way all health constituents-providers, payers, and patients (that’s us!)- can better leverage the extraordinary amount of data that can be brought to bear to improve healthcare delivery and reduce costs. Which is as magic a formula that can be imagined.
The second part of this equation is the rise of a new generation of healthcare applications based on SMART, which stands for Substitutable Medical Applications, Reusable Technologies.
SMART allows for an application development capability that supports a “build once, go anywhere” orientation that greatly enhances the ability to address a multitude of use case requirements without the worry about whether or not a particular application will perform well with any individual EHR platform. SMART has ushered in a new ecosystem of application development for healthcare much like Salesforce’s AppExchange has enabled a diverse marketplace of consumable applications that are all based on a common data exchange standard.
So, put this all together and you have SMART on FHIR. It exists today, and any healthcare organization can search various galleries to find an application that might suit a particular use case.
Now let’s consider what will happen when we add the dimension of interoperability of patient health data that will be made available after IoP is achieved. It is not hard to imagine that there will be an exponential leap in the SMART on FHIR market with the explosion of applications that can leverage the tremendous influx of available data.
It will become a veritable wild, wild west of valuable healthcare solutions that will greatly change the complexion of virtually every aspect of healthcare delivery. This is why SMART on FHIR is a central focus at AZTECH. The AZTECH approach incorporates both the potential value and the extreme requirement for governance and coordination of this new capability both in the production of new applications, as well as the strategy that will move various organizations forward securely into this new environment.
One of the lessons learned from the rise of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), was the emergence of “shadow IT”. Shadow IT refers to instances where business units in various markets and verticals would circumvent internal IT organizations to procure new CRM and other business functional software without the usual governance and control of central IT. This led to a myriad of problems regarding data integrity, cost controls, version control, and ownership of support issues that caused great agita for many organizations. Keeping a strict eye on governance, security, and demand control is a critical requirement for all healthcare organizations to be cognizant about. More to talk about this later.The advent of SMART on FHIR represents a sea change in the way that technology and automation can be brought to bear in the post-IoP age. It will be fascinating to see what will be determined as possible as we approach that new continuum.