What is the FHIR standard?
The Belgian Government's message to healthcare institutions to adapt the current HL7 standard to the emerging FHIR standard came rather abruptly. Many Belgian hospitals are looking for the right way to manage this transition. Thereby, testing of the systems during and after the transition is a crucial part. The question now is how to organize this as a test manager of a hospitals in Belgium?
FHIR vs. HL7
What exactly is HL7 and FHIR? The standards HL7 (Health Level Seven) and FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) are used in healthcare to enable the exchange of medical data between systems. The standards differ from each other in the following ways:
- HL7 is a communication protocol that defines the structure and format of messages. This allows different systems to communicate with each other in a standardized way.
- FHIR is an emerging standard developed by HL7 International. FHIR builds on the strengths of previous HL7 standards. The standard uses modern Web technologies such as RESTful APIs and JSON to facilitate health data exchange.
The FHIR standard's advantages over HL7 are that it is easier to implement, more scalable and better suited to modern Web-based applications and mobile devices.
Testing is important in transition to FHIR
Careful testing during and after the transition to FHIR is essential for hospitals in Belgium. Proper testing of the FHIR implementation ensures timely error detection and risk reduction. A solid testing process is indispensable for a smooth transition from HL7 to FHIR. Now broadly speaking, how does such a testing process work:
- Identification of technical problems: During testing, technical problems or bugs in the implementation of FHIR come to light. These problems should be resolved in a timely manner.
- Interoperability verification: FHIR is designed to enable interoperability between different systems. Timely error detection reduces the likelihood of disruptions to system interoperability.
- Evaluating system performance: FHIR implementations can affect system performance, especially with large volumes of data exchange. Testing the FHIR implementation allows hospitals to evaluate system performance.
- Data validation and quality control: Testing FHIR implementations allows hospitals to validate data and quality control processes. This allows them to know whether the data are being validated properly and whether sufficient controls are in place to ensure data quality.
- Training and user acceptance: Testing FHIR implementations trains staff in the use of the new standard. This helps promote user acceptance and ensures familiarity with the new workflows and processes associated with FHIR.
FHIR transition testing with Testersuite
Testing during the transition to FHIR offers hospitals the opportunity to identify and resolve any problems early. The question here is whether the term "early" is appropriate since the Belgian government is talking about a deadline of the end of 2023. It is therefore extremely important to have a grip and control on the testing process in addition to a simple execution of the testing process.
With Testersuite you can easily set up a test process, quickly execute test cases and easily report to stakeholders. Numerous hospitals and healthcare institutions in Belgium and the Netherlands have already experienced the benefits of Testersuite . The Testersuite consultants are also happy to help you set up the test process for the FHIR transition.