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1UPHealth Wins ONC API Innovation Challenge Using FHIR Server

The health IT developer won Stage 2 of the API innovation challenge by improving the security of a FHIR server.

1UPHealth won an ONC health IT innovation challenge supporting FHIR standard use.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- 1UPHealth recently won the ONC application programming interface (API) innovation challenge by identifying weaknesses in a server built on the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard, and then finding ways to strengthen the FHIR server.

ONC’s Secure API Server Showdown Challenge tasked health IT developers with identifying FHIR servers that follow health IT security best practices on an industry-wide scale. Using these best practices, innovators leveraged widely-accepted, effective measures to build a high-quality, secure FHIR server capable of protecting patient health data.

As part of Stage 1 of the challenge, health IT innovator Asymmetrik built a secure Health Level 7 (HL7) FHIR server utilizing health IT standards, best practices, and other healthcare-specific technical requirements related to security.

1UPHealth won Stage 2 of the contest by finding weaknesses in Asymmetrik’s FHIR server. 1UpHealth also identified ways to improve and strengthen the FHIR server’s security and ensure sensitive patient health data can safely be stored and transmitted using the technology.

As a result of the challenge, an open source FHIR implementation that utilizes JavaScript, Node.js, and MongoDB is now available for health IT innovators to build on. The implementation meets security requirements per the Argonaut Data Query Implementation Guide Version 1.0.0. Innovators can access the source code on GitHub.

ONC’s API innovation challenge was part of an overall effort by the federal agency to promote the aims of the 21st Century Cures Act, which encourages the development of APIs that require “no special effort” for users to engage in health data exchange and health data access.

Sequoia Project Leadership Promotes Use of FHIR, Health Data Exchange

Sequoia Project CIO and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Eric Heflin will also help to promote the use of the FHIR standard by providing expert testimony at a National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics Standards Subcommittee CIO forum on May 17.

Heflin will discuss the evolution of technical standards utilized by the Sequoia Project and its initiatives. Specifically, Heflin will address the benefits of incorporating the use of FHIR into health data exchange to support scalable health data sharing solutions.

“The Sequoia Project and its initiatives are grounded in real-world health data sharing experiences,” said Heflin. “It’s critical that those organizations with large scale health data sharing experience collaborate to move the whole nation forward efficiently and productively in coordination with those that require such standards. Providers and patients are counting on us.”

Heflin will also offer providers lessons learned from supporting nationwide health information exchange. These lessons are applicable to administrative simplification transactions, claims workflows, standards development, governance and oversight, data harmonization, and consumer access.

The public-private health information exchange (HIE) eHealth Exchange and the Carequality interoperability framework both utilize technical standards, including those developed by health IT standards development organization IHE International.

Heflin will discuss the importance of partnering with national and international organizations when developing large-scale implementations of Sequoia Project interoperability initiatives and frameworks.

Heflin has previously served as a subject matter expert and contributor to groups including the Argonaut Project and ONC’s Health Information Technology Advisory Committee (HITAC) US Core Data for Interoperability Task Force (USCDI).

The Sequoia Project recently announced eHealth Exchange and Carequality will become two distinct subsidiaries when eHealth Exchange joins the Carequality interoperability framework later this year. The Sequoia Project will update its corporate structure to ensure both initiatives have the governance and management resources necessary for continued success.

eHealth Exchange will implement the Carequality interoperability framework as part of this change in business model.

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