Now that we understand language HIS speak, we
need to know how they exchange the data.
The first concept we need to tackle is Health
Information Exchange or HIE.
HIE is the process that makes the electronic
sharing of patient health information between
different healthcare providers possible.
Now, there are three main types of HIE:
First one is Direct Exchange: This allows
healthcare professionals to send and receive
patient information electronically between
This method is often used for sending
referrals or discharge summaries directly to
another care provider.
Query-Based Exchange: Provides healthcare
professionals with the ability to find and/or
request information on a patient from other
care providers, often used for unplanned care.
Consumer Mediated Exchange: Allows patients to
aggregate and control the use of their health
information among care providers.
Each type of HIE use standards to facilitate
the exchange process and achieve
Interoperability is the capability of
different information systems, devices, or
applications to connect and communicate in a
coordinated, secure, and efficient manner to
The reason they do this is to provide timely access to patient health information.
It's a broad concept that applies to the
entire healthcare industry and involves
technology, policies, and stakeholders
agreeing on standards, protections, and
practices for sharing information.
To achieve interoperability we have the FHIR,
or Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources
enters the scene. FHIR is a standard for
electronic health data exchange designed to
This standard has been developed and
maintained by HL7.
HL7, or Health Level Seven.
An organization that provides a framework and
standards for the exchange, integration,
sharing, and retrieval of electronic health
To understand FHIR, consider a patient
visiting a new clinic.
Standards like FHIR make it possible for
their Electronic Health Record (EHR) to be
shared and understood at the new clinic,
providing continuity of care.
In this process, the EHR might contain ICD-10
codes specifying diagnoses, SNOMED CT
codes detailing clinical terms relevant to
their conditions, and LOINC codes identifying
laboratory tests and their results.
These coding systems, working together with
the FHIR, ensure that critical health data is
not only transferred, but is transferred in a
way that makes it universally understandable,
regardless of the specific system or device
used by the clinic.
On top of everything we have discussed today,
we have to think of AI and machine learning.
Imagine a healthcare analyst faced with
thousands of patient records.
AI and machine learning algorithms can help
predict which patients might be at risk for
certain conditions, allowing for timely
It sounds like our next big leap in
healthcare attention… Intrigued?
Then, hold on tight because we're just
scratching the surface of this exciting world,
and there's a lot more to explore!