Dr. Ed Hammond’s FHIR Lecture

On Monday July 20, 2015 Dr. Ed Hammond gave a speech regarding FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources- Pronounced “fire”) at the Duke University School of Nursing.





FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) Specification, is a standard for exchanging healthcare information electronically.Healthcare records are increasingly becoming digitized. As patients move around the healthcare eco-system, their electronic health records must be available, discoverable, and understandable. Further, to support automated clinical decision support and other machine based processing, the data must also be structured and standardized.

HL7 has been addressing these challenges by producing healthcare data exchange and information modeling standards for over 20 years. FHIR is a new specification based on emerging industry approaches, but informed by years of lessons around requirements, successes and challenges gained through defining and implementing HL7 v2, v3 and the RIM, and CDA. FHIR can be used as a stand-alone data exchange standard, but can and will also be used in partnership with existing widely used standards.

FHIR aims to simplify implementation without sacrificing information integrity. It leverages existing logical and theoretical models to provide a consistent, easy to implement, and rigorous mechanism for exchanging data between healthcare applications. FHIR has built-in mechanisms for traceability to the HL7 RIM and other important content models. This ensures alignment to HL7’s previously defined patterns and best practices without requiring the implementer to have intimate knowledge of the RIM or any HL7 v3 derivations.