Posted on Behalf of Tom Bishop, Software Developer
Summit Provider Alert supports FHIR
It looks like FHIR is here to stay, so supporting it is not optional.
The Summit Provider Alert product has been FHIR ready since its initial release.
Let’s start with a definition of FHIR.
According to the HL7 Org, FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) Specification is a standard for exchanging healthcare information electronically.
Here’s some background from the HL7 Org.
Healthcare records are increasingly becoming digitized. As patients move around the healthcare ecosystem, 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 , HL7 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.
Some common uses of FHIR are for accessing Personal Health Records (PHR), Document Sharing (XDS) and Decision support.
I’m a developer on the Summit Provider Alert Team and worked on converting HL7 messages to FHIR resources.
Summit Provider Alert improves the delivery of patient care through real-time notifications and documentation of significant health events.  Efficient data flow between hospital systems and the provider community is a necessity for enabling safe transitions and improving outcomes.  Minimizing the disconnect between care settings by improving communication and disseminating key data surrounding significant healthcare events is also a mandated Meaningful Use 3 requirement.
Provider Alert is an easy-to-use, web-based application that accommodates providers offices’ workflow allowing organizations to coordinate care across the continuum. Integrated care team engagement allows for faster follow up and cost reductions through medication reconciliation, proactive post hospital care and patient education.
Since Summit Provider Alert is web-based, documents are displayed to the user as html. Html is generated using an XML representation of the stored message and applying a stylesheet.
The challenge was converting HL7 to FHIR. Using the HL7 FHIR model made this task much easier than had been anticipated.  A FHIR bundle is created and the necessary resources are added. Then the bundle is serialized to XML, a stylesheet applied and the result is a html document.
Using this approach, users are able to view HL7, XML and FHIR messages with Summit Provider Alert.
For more information on Summit’s products and Provider Alert, please visit our website at