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How FHIR® Is Going To Completely Redefine Radiology Workflow

Posted on 02/16/16

Clario is actively building FHIR interfaces today, and I am blown away by the functionality that FHIR will bring to Radiology.  Yes, it will take some time to get the EHR vendors to fully support FHIR, but even a moderate amount of support will result in a huge improvement for Radiologists.  Especially, it turns out, for those Rads in private practice.  Here are some ways it will improve the Radiologist’s workflow experience.

More data!

With FHIR, you don’t just get the information sent to you through an HL7 connection, you actually query for the data you want.  This means that the thoughtful designers of radiology workflow products can automatically get you the clinical information you need, and present it in an optimized way.

Most current information

Listening for HL7 information is the current standard.  If the EHR or HIS or RIS does not tell you that something has changed, you don’t know.  With FHIR, the worklist can query the EHR for information specific to that patient, at the time you are reading their exam.  When hours can pass between getting an order and when it is read, it is best practice and query for the most current patient information directly from the EHR.

Multiple EHR connections

Most of our customers read for multiple hospitals.  It is often the case that these hospitals have completely different EHRs.  With Clario and FHIR, you access the clinical data you need the same way.  No more learning 4 different EHRs, keeping them all open and navigating by hand to the patient you are currently reading.

Automatic insert into reports

Sometimes clinical data queried from the EHR belongs in the radiology report.  When you use Clario, FHIR and VR, you can insert information directly into the report.

FHIR driven workflow

Information taken from the EHR can be used to sort and prioritize the radiology workflow.  Clario’s FHIR implementation can pull information into the display, or directly into our DB.  Once in the database, it can be used just like any other field to build the worklist.

Future FHIR functionality

As EHR vendors continue to add capability on their side, the doors will open to write as well as read.  This opens a whole new level of communication between radiology and the other clinicians on the care coordination team.  Now Radiologists have a way to add notes that help them communicate to EHR users.

The future is FHIR, and it is almost here.

FHIR is the registered trademark of Health Level Seven International.