HLN participated in the Virtual HL7 FHIR Connectathon on January 14-15, 2024 in two Helios FHIR Accelerator for public health tracks: IIS Bulk Data and Query & Response. Connectathons are an opportunity for developers from different organizations to work in real-time with each other and with standards development teams to exchange test data using new FHIR interoperability standards.
In the IIS Bulk Data track, Jesse Bonzo and Mike Berry represented the Rhode Island Child and Immunization Registry (RICAIR) and achieved connections to the HLN/Rhode Island IIS FHIR Server from several clients including Docket, eClinicalWorks, SMART Health IT, American Immunization Registry Association (AIRA)/National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and Epic. These clients used SMART Authentication to connect securely and then used the bulk data standard to efficiently access up-to-date immunization data on large groups of patients all at once. The data include “ImmunizationEvaluation” and “ImmunizationRecommendation” FHIR resources, fed by ICE forecasts, in addition to the typical “Patient” and “Immunization” resources. The participants also met with the Da Vinci Project to discuss a new standard in development for bulk patient matching, and the HLN team successfully served bulk match requests from two clients during the Connectathon.
In the Query & Response track, HLN used an environment designed to mimic a public health agency to test a FHIR query from a public health agency to ask for additional information for an infectious disease report from the medical provider. Aasa Dahlberg Schmit, Kristi Eckerson, Mike Berry and Jesse Bonzo partnered with the Minnesota Department of Health for this activity where Sarah Solarz provided information about which data elements would be useful to obtain in a query/response FHIR exchange for supplemental information. The scenario we tested was for a patient with acute Syphilis and the data we tested querying for was address, SOGI, pregnancy, lab test and results and medications.
During the Connectathon we successfully managed to query for the patient and retrieve the information we asked for in a sandbox environment. Although the test gave us valuable insights into continuing this work into real life scenarios, they also spurred more questions, especially around how to build the queries in order to get the correct information back. The group also had discussions on the different possible ways a public health agency would integrate the query & response into their disease surveillance system data flow and what impacts it might have on the surveillance processes. For future Connectathons, it will be interesting to dig deeper into these questions and also to expand the scenario to the steps before and after the actual query & response.
Going forward we plan to continue to contribute to these two important Helios Accelerator projects and help our partners adopt FHIR and use it to improve public health.
Although there is no replacement for the level of interaction in an in-person event, we found the virtual setting to be efficient and well-run – overall, a good occasional alternative to in-person Connectathons. HL7 used Whova to run the virtual event, as well as Zulip for team chat, Zoom for live sessions, and Google Docs and ConMan for client and server metadata sharing.
Send us feedback about this blog