This month, Zynx Health introduced the availabilty of an API whose data format conforms to the standard data format for FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources).
What's important to note here is that while there maybe a standard data format for retrieving electronic healthcare records (EHR), that doesn't necessarily mean that there's a standard API. Most (not all, but most) API interactions consist of a request (sometimes referred to as "calling an API") and a response. In fact, in ProgrammableWeb's API Directory, we keep track of supported payloads for both the request and response on a per API basis because they are often different.
In the case of APIs that support the FHIR data standard, you are almost guaranteed to be talking about an API that, at the very least, supports that data format as a perty of the response payload. Even if the data format is supported on the request side of things, there still is no officially ratifiied standard for how an FHIR data format-compliant API must be called. That for now is left up to individual implementations. While it sounds bad, it's still a huge step in the right direction towards interoperability of patitent data between dissimilar EHR systems. For example, between your local hospital's system and the system used by your general practitioner. We should have to fill out those forms in triplicate everywhere we go nor should we have to hand-carry documents, images, and other paper medical records from one specialist to another (sadly, there are many of us who still do this).
Speaking directly to the challenges faced by patients, the announcement from Zynx says:
As healthcare moves to risk-based alternative payment models that emphasize outcomes, clinicians in all care settings require ready access to evidence-based content to ensure the delivery of consistent and standardized care throughout the patient journey.
Then, speaking to the breadth of the EHR ecosystem through which data much frictionlessly flow, the announcement goes on to say:
The Zynx Health API extends the availability of Zynx Health's award-winning evidence-based content throughout the healthcare ecosphere, from ambulatory care settings, to post-acute care, homecare, and more. At its core, the API enables multiple platforms to access the most clinically accurate and relevant care guidance including analytics applications, financial applications, clinical quality improvement, and workflow applications.
We've already made a record of the API in the ProgrammableWeb directory which notes the availability of the RESTful API's somewhat spartan documentation up on Github.