Business tenders come across my plate every so often that need a solution to data access in a way that works well for integrators without the major effort of corporate wooing of mostly disinterested clinical system vendors. Based on previous escapades in providing interfacing for primary care systems with CDA and VMR for various projects including connecting to the national PCEHR (Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record), point-to-point messaging and decision support services it has all come to this point - "need for cost-effective integration products".
Nothing like responding to a tender request to really clarify what you do and don't do and what a prospective customer might actually need. A few things really stand out in my mind with the process of presenting FHIR as the basis of a solution.
a) "There are the specs - go ahead and read them" - the specification is open, I can give folks the URL and say take a look. No 3 day course on the RIM, I don't need to hold their hand - they can read it and understand it; even folks that don't really know what HL7 and standards are about.
b) "Phew DSTU" - those 4 letters make a great deal of difference, it is a draft standard for trial use i.e. good enough to use in anger and locked in enough to rely on. Ever won a tender with 'it should be a DSTU soon' - it makes me nervous as change with a live customer is costly.
c) "FHIR Community - you're in it" - Using FHIR brings you into an active and friendly implementer crowd; they happen to also be a 'standards' crowd, but really these folks are the ones making it work rather than talking about how we might make it work. It is also quite appealing doing this in Melbourne -"oh yeah, the guy that kicked off all this FHIR stuff is a bit north of town". I can't help being lucky - Melbourne is a nice place to live; I recommend it for anyone keen on FHIR ;)
"Hiasobi" (General Practice FHIR Suite) is now an active product:
- Demo Servers (still up) - http://www.fhir.oridashi.com.au/
- Hiasobi Information Wiki - http://www.fhir.oridashi.com.au/wiki/Main_Page
If you would like to talk FHIR with Australian primary care systems contact me email firstname.lastname@example.org or skype brett.esler - "free the data"