From clinical models to FHIR

Intermountain Healthcare has invested approximately one hundred man year in describing the clinical information domain in logical models, so called detailed clinical models. These basic information blocks are irrespective of the context in which they are used or the technical implementation. For instance, you could describe a blood pressure model and use this model to configure an EHR or to exchange data using CDA, HL7, FHIR or whatever standard. Intermountain is now in the process of translating these models to FHIR Profiles.

My colleague Marten Smits examined the “technical neutrality” of these building blocks by translating them to CDA and to FHIR. He concluded that there is no easy way to convert the logical models to the technical models of, in this case, CDA and FHIR. It takes effort and compromizing. Nevertheless, in organizations that one way or another have to support many different systems and interfaces, the wish to have a common language remains strong.

Dr. Huff is deeply involved in the ideas of logical models and the Clinical Data Modelling Iniative (CIMI), an iniatieve that originated from HL7 aiming at “semantic interoperability”. More about the logical models and FHIR in the last snippet from my interview with Dr. Huff at the HL7 Working Group Meeting in Orlando, this January:

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