In our newest round of CommonWell TV interviews, we asked about a perpetually hot topic, FHIR. While CommonWell has been using FHIR since its inception, soon, CommonWell will be enabling discrete data exchange via FHIR across its network.

We asked a few of our members to elaborate on what this means for patients and providers.

Read below for their reactions and watch the first batch of this year’s CommonWell TV videos here.

Amy Shellhart, Chief Solutions Officer, WellSky
By enabling discrete data exchange with FHIR patients and providers will be able to access the exact information that they need. FHIR also improves interoperability because it allows for data exchange with a wide array of systems and devices. This allows patients with apps and medical devices to use their own information to perform better self-care.

Rob Cohen, President & General Manager, Bamboo Health
While CommonWell has been using FHIR, they’ve been exchanging CCDAs – this is huge progress over what used to happen. But CCDAs can be difficult to parse and interpret, and can also lead to data quality issues. Exchanging discrete FHIR resources means you can actually call the specific piece of data that you want—whether it’s diagnoses, lab results, etc.—and with FHIR, you can get it back in a digestible, clean format.

Christine Parent, Associate Vice President, MEDITECH
Discrete data is a game-changer. Even when COVID surges subside, there is going to be a huge backlog of patients waiting for the elective care that they have put on hold. This means fewer providers will have time to open a static document to look for information on a patient. When it’s discrete, it’s more readily available and actionable for the provider.

Paul L. Wilder, Executive Director, CommonWell Health Alliance
It’s like taking your tax return—hundreds of pages—and all you are trying to do is find your gross income–which is that one number–and we want to be able to get to one finite thing as quickly as possible. Using FHIR for discrete data exchange brings a lot more innovation to other apps which can work at speed to provider better health care for all.

Liz Buckle, Director of Product, CommonWell Health Alliance
We are looking to move from a document-centric world into a resource-based world where data is easier to use, request, send and handle in a more meaningful way. We’re taking things we’ve learned from the past document-centric world and applying it here in the FHIR Project. Providers will have built in workflows so they can provide and consume data where and when they need it.

To see FHIR in action, make sure to visit Nationwide Connected Care at the HIMSS22 Interoperability Showcase! There you will meet Oscar, a traveling nurse from NY who is diagnosed with MS. At the showcase, you’ll be able to watch as his providers leverage event notifications, smart record locator services and discrete data exchange via FHIR at national scale to coordinate care and help avoid readmission. Regardless of where his care occurs, Oscar and his providers have access to his health records nationwide via the CommonWell Health Alliance network, resulting in improved health outcomes.