Despite the potential of Health Level Seven’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) to help solve some of the challenges of interoperability, for the foreseeable future government and industry experts predict that FHIR—an application programming interface (API) that leverages the latest web standards—will coexist side-by-side with the Consolidated-Clinical Document Architecture (C-CDA).

“FHIR is particularly useful where you’re looking to query and retrieve specific data elements, not just an entire clinical document,” says Erica Galvez, interoperability and exchange portfolio manager for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, who is leading the agency’s efforts to achieve nationwide interoperability. But, Galvez hastens to add that C-CDA and FHIR serve different purposes.

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