The Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) is a standard and set of guidelines that dictate how information is presented and transmitted. In simplified terms, FHIR (pronounced “fire”) is an agreed-upon language into which information is translated so it can be easily shared across platforms and systems. This system allows for the secure exchange of clinical, administrative, and other healthcare information.
FHIR determines three key guidelines: what format data is in, phrasing and definitions for terms, and the technologies supported in data transmission. The common language makes it easy to access the data and submit queries. Streamlining the format in this way maximizes the value of shared data.
For example, FHIR dictates that all patients be referred to as “patients,” though other organizations might call them “members” or “program users.” Similarly, what FHIR calls “practitioners” may elsewhere be referred to as “doctors,” “clinicians,” or “care managers.”