Lyniate Team

Show—Not Tell—with User-friendly clinFHIR

November 9, 2020

Attendees at Lyniate’s virtual customer conference, CONNECT/20, got a first-hand look at clinFHIR, a freely available education and design tool—and a fast, visual way to experiment with the HL7 FHIR® standard.

FHIR evangelist Dr. David Hay created clinFHIR to help technical and non-technical people experiment with FHIR and represent clinical information in a structured and coded manner.

[See Lyniate’s FHIR Resources]

Bringing Clinicians On-board with FHIR

A physician, HL7 fellow, and national Chair Emeritus of HL7, Dr. Hay is providing expertise as New Zealand pursues national clinical data exchange. He’s developing within FHIR and communicating about interoperability on a daily basis.

“In many cases, the techies are on board with FHIR, but the clinicians aren’t. I built clinFHIR to expose FHIR’s concepts to a non-technical audience,” Dr. Hay explained. For coding experts, the inspiring, visual interface can fuel discussions about FHIR’s applications for many different scenarios involving clinical data, including supporting different clinical specialties.

Dr. Hay guided conference participants through a demo of clinFHIR.

A Visually Friendly Training Tool

clinFHIR uses a point and click interface to generate resource graphs and diagrams— as well as JSON based FHIR resources that can be easily manipulated.

“Developers are using clinFHIR to build easy-to-understand models that can be shared with internal customers,” Dr. Hay said.

Safely Experiment Without Using Patient Data

With clinFHIR, a developer can experiment with FHIR without using actual clinical data. clinFHIR includes a module that accesses a small subset of synthetic data, or the user can access other synthetic data available through a FHIR server.

Modules Support Modeling, Queries, Scenarios and More

Dr. Hay gave an overview and a demo of clinFHIR’s modules, which enable developers to experiment with FHIR quickly and easily, with the different modules accessing a series of FHIR servers, including servers are maintained by Dr. Hay and open servers from the FHIR development community.

The demo included:

  • Patient Viewer – display resources for a specific patient, using a number of different views, including list by resource type, JSON (JavaScript Office Notation) and tree views.
  • Logical Modeler – create a model that represents a particular interoperability requirement
  • Server Query – make and build ad hoc queries against any FHIR server
  • Graph Builder – construct graphs of inter-connected FHIR resources, bringing together resources to support a specific clinical scenario—for example, based on a specific clinical use case. Graph Builder supports new tools such as FHIR Shorthand (FSH) and SUSHI, an interpreter/compiler for FHIR Shorthand, designed for creating ImplementationGuides.

Dr. Hay encouraged Lyniate customers and employees to test-drive clinFHIR and provide him with feedback through the FHIR community chat—which can also be used for help and support .

An Insightful FHIR Overview

Dr. Hay overviewed FHIR and its many freely available resources, which are rapidly evolving through contributions from a worldwide community of developers. For healthcare technology developers, Clinical Decision Support (CDS) Hooks are an especially valuable tool. They deliver a clinical decision support service that can hook to EHR activities (such as a medication order), leverage FHIR data, and offer clinical decision support, such as the cost of the medication to the patient and appropriate medication alternatives.

Become Part of Pioneering FHIR

Ultimately, FHIR will support many new forms of clinical data interoperability, including EHR-based data sharing, mobile phone apps, cloud communications, and server communication. There’s a vibrant, international community evolving FHIR. Developers can ask questions and communicate via a public chat.

For further reading:

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