The FHIR standard, which potentially boosts interoperability by allowing data to travel as discrete pieces, is catching on, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
"The United States might be at a turning point when it comes to the adoption and implementation of the Health Level Seven Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard in health information technology," wrote ONC Office of Technology Executive Director Steven Posnack and HHS program analyst Wes Barker.
But vendor uptake of FHIR remains low, with just 32% of vendors that are certified to the "application access—data category request" requirement using the standard.
"While the 32% may seem 'low,' " Posnack and Barker wrote, "the estimated market share of the health IT developers using FHIR is large.
The majority of hospitals and MIPS-eligible clinicians who use federally certified products have software that comes from developers that support FHIR in at least some of their products, according to the ONC. The leading vendors are Cerner Corp. and Epic Systems Corp., which each have about a fifth of the hospital market share.
The CMS has also turned to FHIR. The agency's Blue Button 2.0 relies on the standard to let beneficiaries pull their claims data into third-party apps and services.
The private sector has invested in the standard too, with Apple in particular leading the way. The company draws on FHIR to let iPhone users aggregate their health record data in the iOS Health app.
Despite progress, "it's not time to pop any champagne," Posnack and Barker wrote. "Much works remains from standard development to implementation."