This past September, I had the privilege of attending the AHIMA annual convention in New Orleans. I was particularly looking forward to presentations on information governance and ICD-10. Not only was I able to learn more about both of these important topics, but I also learned about several other initiatives that will surely affect the HIM profession going forward.
Lighting The Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources
The first initiative is the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR). During a presentation titled “The Future of Health Data Interoperability is on FHIR,” Charles Jaffe, MD, PhD, CEO of Health Level 7 (HL7), discussed this exciting new human readable standard for exchanging electronic information and its implications for privacy and security specifications.
According to HL7, “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.”
Those of us who have worked in HIM for a while have likely worked with many standards, including HL7, HTML, LOINC, and SNOMED to name a few. FHIR is the up-and-coming standard that Jaffee describes as “city planning” rather than “architecture.” As the industry moves toward greater interoperability, tools like FHIR will be paramount to our HIM profession.
The Role Of Data Provenance
During a presentation titled “Patient-Generated Health Data and How to Handle in HIM,” Rita Bowen, MA, RHIA, CHPS, SSGB, senior vice president of HIM and privacy officer at HealthPort, discussed the concept of data provenance—defined as an organization’s ability to perform the following tasks:
- Track and verify the origin of clinical information
- Identify the author who creates the documentation
- Determine who has ownership of the data
- Track any changes that are made to the data during its life cycle
The concept of data provenance will play an important role in HIM as data continues to flow into organizations from external labs and facilities as well pharmacies. We need data provenance to understand what data will be received and how we should classify and manage it.
HIM Questions To Ponder
A few questions to consider as we look ahead to 2016:
- What are your thoughts on FHIR? How do you think it will impact Health Information Mangement?
- Are you working toward data provenance in your organization? Is it part of your information governance strategy?
- What other topics and trends are you seeing in HIM that will affect the profession going forward?