HL7 Launches FHIR Accelerator Program

Health Level Seven International (HL7), announces the launch of the HL7 FHIR Accelerator Program. The program is based on a model piloted by the HL7 Argonaut Project and, more recently, the HL7 Da Vinci Project. The goal is to strengthen the FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) standard and enhance market adoption through a programmatic approach available to myriad stakeholders.

Charles Jaffe, MD, PhD

“HL7 FHIR has achieved remarkable adoption on a global scale,” said Dr. Charles Jaffe, CEO of HL7. “An ever-growing community of implementers has emerged across a broad spectrum of health care, eager to participate in an agile onramp for FHIR adoption and implementation. The HL7 FHIR Accelerator Program provides the framework for that community to leverage the technical capability, management expertise and experience gained during the creation and growth of the Argonaut and Da Vinci Projects.”

Building on the success of current projects – Argonaut (provider-provider and provider-patient) and Da Vinci (payer-provider) – The CARIN Alliance has recently been approved as an HL7 FHIR accelerator project (payer-patient). The three projects are complementary initiatives.

“On behalf of the CARIN Alliance, its board and membership, we are grateful for the opportunity to work more closely with HL7 as part of the FHIR Accelerator Program as we work to develop additional FHIR implementation guides so consumers can get access to more of their health information,” said Ryan Howells, CARIN Alliance Project Manager and Principal at Leavitt Partners. “Consumers and their authorized caregivers are requesting more access to health care data with less friction to empower them to become more informed, shared decision-makers in the care they receive.”

The original concept behind accelerating HL7 FHIR began approximately four years ago with the advent of the Argonaut Project.

“In 2015, HL7 and the Argonaut Project successfully established a new model for engaging implementers to accelerate FHIR maturity and adoption to support emerging market needs for provider-provider and provider-patient clinical information exchange,” said Micky Tripathi, project manager of the Argonaut Project. “We are excited to see the HL7 FHIR Accelerator Program institutionalizing this model to support other FHIR adoption initiatives working on complementary use cases.”

The Da Vinci Project began September 2018 to accelerate the standards required to advance value-based care through the use of HL7 FHIR.

“Through Da Vinci, we have worked with HL7, CMS and other stakeholders from the private sector to bring together the best and brightest minds in the FHIR community to create an ‘industry first’ environment that not only values innovation but drives forward-thinking momentum to promote standards,” said Jocelyn Keegan, Da Vinci program manager. “It’s this collaborative environment that has made it possible for Da Vinci to accelerate the development of multiple balloted standards in just one year. We look forward to collaborating on best practices, tools, and lessons learned with other organizations so we can work to fuel interoperability.”

Additional impetus for the introduction of the HL7 FHIR Accelerator Program initiative comes in the form of shared priorities with The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Seema Verma, Administrator of CMS within the Department of Health and Human Services, outlined the Centers’ priorities for the upcoming year in a letter she sent to HL7 on Feb. 7, 2019.

“It’s more apparent than ever that HL7 will play a critical role in furthering CMS’s objectives this year and well into the future,” said Jaffe. “We’re delighted that CMS has clearly acknowledged HL7’s contribution and integral role in creating a more interoperable health system that supports patients, providers, payers and many others.

“Through collaboration with many other contributors, HL7 will promote the acceleration and implementation of the FHIR platform with the new HL7 FHIR Accelerator Program initiative,” Jaffe added.

Implementation communities will be able to select a range of solutions based on their own needs and resources, ranging from self-service templates and tools, to contracted project management, SME and infrastructure services.

Certain minimum program requirements for implementation communities seeking to become HL7 FHIR Accelerator Projects include the following:

Applicants must also demonstrate clear goals, governance, commitment to creating balloted artifacts, access to adequate resources, and HL7 member representation.

A baseline project package is available for an initial setup fee and annual fees thereafter. Additional fees vary depending on services selected beyond the base package.

For more information about the HL7 FHIR Accelerator Program, visit www.hl7.org/about/fhiraccelerator.

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