The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s FHIR at Scale Taskforce (FAST) will transition into an HL7 FHIR Accelerator.
The FAST project was originally founded to identify Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) scalability barriers and define a common set of infrastructure standards for scalable FHIR solutions. As an Accelerator, FAST will continue its work under the purview of HL7 with a broad range of stakeholders informing and participating in the initiative.
“As a widely adopted standard supported by many of the most notable stakeholders in the health IT community, FHIR is making rapid, real-world progress toward addressing the biggest challenges of health data interoperability,” said HL7 International CEO Charles Jaffe, M.D., Ph.D., in a statement. “The FAST Accelerator will bring us closer to defining a consistent and scalable approach to deploying FHIR across high-value use cases and disseminating these best practices to the industry.”
FAST will complement and support the work of HL7’s other accelerators. While groups such as Vulcan, the Da Vinci Project, and CodeX develop standards to support specific functional use cases, FAST focuses on scalability approaches that implementers can leverage across use cases to simplify deployment and use of FHIR in disparate environments.
In early 2022, FAST formed a cross-stakeholder team to begin the transition from an ONC-convened initiative to an HL7 FHIR Accelerator. The team has been working to develop a framework for the accelerator’s scope of work, governance principles, and operating and funding models.
“HL7 International has been an exceptional partner and its standards are a key part of what drives interoperability in the U.S. healthcare system. HL7’s FHIR standard is stimulating innovation and quickly transforming how data is exchanged between providers, payers, and patients,” said Micky Tripathi, Ph.D., national coordinator for health information technology, in a statement. “Along with the Sequoia Project, we recently published a FHIR Roadmap as part of the implementation of the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA). FHIR Accelerators like FAST are poised to play a key role in advancing technical specifications that can be implemented at scale within TEFCA and we look forward to what’s to come.”
HL7 is currently seeking organizations interested in becoming members of the FAST Accelerator. Members will take a leadership role in the interoperability ecosystem by helping to prioritize projects and use cases and drive standard development and implementation. Participants will be able to shape and guide industry-wide efforts to eliminate implementation barriers and support real-time, secure data exchange between stakeholders implementing FHIR APIs.
“The FAST Accelerator is an exciting opportunity for technology solution companies, providers, payers, and government entities to innovate around data exchange and find common approaches to implementation problems that we all face,” said Deepak Sadagopan, senior vice president, value-based care & population health informatics with Providence, in a statement. “When everyone sits at the same table, we can make meaningful progress on the lingering barriers that prevent us from maximizing the value of true interoperability. This is the place where we can have those necessary conversations about scaling FHIR in a way that works for everybody.”