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Treatment providers can obtain their patients’ medical histories, aggregated from care sites across the country, through Particle’s API. Most clinical organizations are incentivized to make patient data available to one of many Health Information Networks. These networks contain records for over 90% of Americans, but are hard for all but the largest groups to meaningfully connect to.
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This widespread data format paved the way for health record interoperability.
C-CDA stands for Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture. It’s the most widely used format for health information exchange in the US today.
C-CDA has been one of the default export formats for all certified EHRs - that is, US EHRs that comply with the Promoting Interoperability Programs standard - since 2014’s Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements.
While C-CDA is being phased out in favor of the next generation FHIR standard, its widespread availability makes it a key part of health IT.
C-CDA documents are generally represented in XML. They can include structured information like a medication list. They’re also good at capturing unstructured information, like images.
C-CDA is generally read-only (although the information can be parsed and uploaded elsewhere with some effort). It’s a library of templates, and can encompass information from a single point in time to an aggregation of one’s medical history.
C-CDA is also known for popularizing the Continuity of Care Document (CCD). CCDs are documents that give a snapshot of a patient’s health record in C-CDA format.
In reality, many CDA and C-CDA documents are limited in scope. There are plenty of documents under CDA for specific use cases. For instance, a Discharge Summary is limited to information about the release of a patient from care
The most full-featured health record API is developer-friendly and promoted by the US government.
FHIR (pronounced “fire”) is an acronym for Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources and is a free, vendor-neutral standard for exchanging electronic health records. You might also see it called HL7 FHIR R4, HL7 v4, FHIR R4 or the HL7 FHIR standard.
Before FHIR, health data exchange involved standardized record exports. Now, FHIR supports a modern network that allows true interplay between electronic health record systems (EHRs). FHIR makes it easier for patients to move their health data, and for organizations to use that data at scale.
Several things make FHIR special when it comes to healthcare APIs:
Resources (aka Atomic Data)
These fundamental building blocks of FHIR are lightweight JSON snippets that can be created for every aspect of a patient encounter.
Interoperable, Bi-Directional RESTful APIs
The FHIR standard includes RESTful API protocols as well as data. REST architecture is familiar to developers, as it’s the same architecture that underlies enterprise tools, the internet, and modern APIs. It means that familiar HTTP and OAuth protocols play a part in its use.
Fast and Simple Design
FHIR empowers a more robust and flexible data model of the actual patient experiences and treatment plans than predecessors in the field. FHIR was built with the Pareto principle, or 80/20 design, in mind. The idea is that 80% of common use cases will be covered by the FHIR standard. In turn, individual FHIR implementations will handle the other less common 20%.
Support for Legacy Health Systems
FHIR can be expressed as XML, JSON or RDF. Your implementation of FHIR need not support all FHIR resources, but must support what your organization does. The FHIR standard doesn’t bring a system into or out of HIPAA compliance, but it can be implemented in HIPAA-compliant networks.
Spend less time wrangling data and more time improving treatment workflows. FOCUS is FHIR data simplified and curated into related concept datasets (like medications, encounters, and lab results) that highlight the key values needed to drive patient care. We have transformed this data beyond C-CDA or FHIR structures into an easily ingestible JSON format for maximum speed and flexibility.
What are FOCUS products? What data is included?
Curated datasets have been developed across 7 areas. All product datasets include a combination of labs (LOINC), diagnoses (ICD-10), procedures (CPT), and meds (RxNORM) related to a specific focus area.
At the foundation of each FOCUS product is a clinical understanding of the key drivers, including co-morbidities and leading indicators of a condition.
By simplifying the way records are formatted, development teams no longer have to deal with messy C-CDA documents or make the uphill climb of building out FHIR infrastructure.
To get started with the fastest interoperability APIs, care organizations often allocate at least 2 senior software engineers over a 12-14 week period. FOCUS cuts that time roughly in half by delivering well-formatted data. That’s about $6.7K in savings per week ($40K total) in resource allocation.
Get to value fast
FOCUS shifts the focus from implementation towards constructing more impactful treatment workflows. Leverage FOCUS data by linking related datasets to uncover valuable clinical context.
Patient data comes in several different formats, each with their own strengths. Our platform always lets you choose the format that fits your organization best.
XML (primarily); PDFs + PNGs formats
Downloadable via REST
Particle stores data for 2 days
Easy to implement, but harder to parse
Being phased out (Particle can transform into FHIR format)
Follows REST FHIR R4 Spec
Particle stores data for 30 days
More intensive to implement, but easier to parse
New standard, more future compatibility
Reduce Implementation Time and Costs
Find What You Need, Filter Out the Noise
Easy to ingest into your workflows right out-of-the-box.
Want the whole patient record? Parse through additional info beyond the filtered subset.
Let’s chat about how nationwide interoperability and insights from Particle can lead to higher revenue, greater efficiencies, and better patient outcomes in a dynamic and competitive market.