Translational research as conducted throughout the CTSA network is inextricably intertwined with data. Having a comparable and consistent way of representing this data is crucial for the efficiency and generalizability of translational research using clinical data in particular.
Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) is an HL7 international data standard for representing and exchanging data within and among healthcare organizations. Emerging and rapidly growing in the past decade, it now enjoys unprecedented enthusiasm across government (CMS, NIH, ONC), health providers, health payers, EHR vendors, and researchers. CD2H, in response to an NIH announcement promoting FHIR for research, authored a blog about how FHIR can facilitate the challenges of data interoperability and use across the CTSA network.
CD2H is coordinating and contributing to many FHIR initiatives, with the goal of making its adoption for translational research useful, easy, and a best practice. The ultimate goal is to make data management and transformation tasks in translational research simpler and less resource intensive. These efforts are mostly organized under the Next Generation Data Sharing core of CD2H. Some specific FHIR-related projects underway within that core include: