FHIR Adoption Needs Time to Mature

In John Halamka’s look at Health IT in 2014 he offered some really great insight into how regulators should look at standards and adoption of standards.

Here’s one section which talks about the lesson learned from meaningful use stage 2:

“Stage 2 was aspirational and a few of the provisions – Direct-based summary exchange and patient view/download/transmit required an ecosystem that does not yet exist. The goals were good but the standards were not yet mature based on the framework created by the Standards Committee.”

Then, he offers this money line about FHIR and how we should handle it:

“We need to be careful not to incorporate FHIR into any regulatory program until it has achieved an objective level of maturity/adoption”

There’s no doubt that FHIR is on Fire right now, but we need to be careful that it doesn’t just go down in flames. Throwing it into a regulatory program before it’s ready will just smother it and kill the progress that’s being made.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • I successfully sold the concept of EHR adoption to doctors for the past sixteen years. I always believed that the primary benefit of having medical records in digital form was to be able to share that information between physicians. That is the one component of the meaningful use program that we KNOW with bring significant improvement to the quality of the health care delivery system. I respectfully disagree with Dr. Halamaka. In my opinion Interoperability should occupy ninety percent of the regulatory focus and FHIR should be at the center of that initiative.

  • Jim,
    I love your strong opinion. I think that Halamka probably agrees that a majority of the regulatory focus should be around interoperability as well. However, his problem is that if they incorporate FHIR into mandates (like meaningful use) before FHIR is ready to be adopted, then you cause more problems than you solve.

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