The HL7 organization (Health Level 7), that brought you HL7 Version 2 and the CDA specification, is responsible for developing health information language standards. They are currently in the process of developing a new language and protocol, called FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) with the goal of using all the good qualities of the prior standards and trimming inefficient practices inherent to past HL7 specifications.

This past weekend, HL7 hosted their 10th FHIR Connectathon in Atlanta, GA where more than 100 participants were in attendance representing more than 60 healthcare software vendors and clinical organizations from more than six different countries. Attendees of the Connectathon tested six different “tracks” across various healthcare domains (clinical, financial, scheduling, etc.) either as a client requesting information or a server returning information. The 10-hour day on Saturday was spent developing connections between clients and servers and there was a final attestation testing that occurred on Sunday morning.

First-time participation yields positive results

Mirth® participated in the HL7 Connectathon for the first time ever, registered as a server. Our hope was to be able to participate in four different tracks spanning clinical, financial, terminology, and scheduling services, just to create a few connections with some of the client testing tools available during the weekend.

Connectathon
Inside the Health Level Seven International FHIR Connectathon; everyone is heads down and working. (Photo: By Kelly Huang, Mirth)

There were about 30 other servers present and only 15 attested in the final testing with client systems. Using the Mirth® Connect FHIR connector, we were able to complete at least one testing track with 10 different client partners.

Prior to arrival, there were a number of publicly available servers that clients were able to test against. We debuted our publicly available FHIR server at the beginning of the Connectathon and attained a number of connections with a wide variety of client systems.

Tune in for a special tech preview

Mirth will be releasing a second tech preview of the Mirth Connect FHIR connector in the coming weeks, updated with the DSTU 2 specification. For additional information on what you should know about FHIR, check out our fact sheet and give the Mirth Connect FHIR connector a test drive!