Travelling to Chile to talk about FHIR at the HIMSS was an extrordinary experience:
Chile is a country that - with it's own brand of "Meaningful Use" incentive program called "SIDRA" - evolves rapidly from paper based health records to a national health IT infrastructure incompassung telemedicine, patient empowerment, quality and performance indicator measurement and a logitudinal health record.
The ideas of what their national health IT infrastructure is supposed to look like are already very concise, but actual health data exchange is only at the beginning -yet!
Enter "SIDRA 2" to drive the developement of health data exchange to the next level!
But rather than continuing to spend the fundings from SIDRA on big international corporations to deliver systems that didn't fit the specific requirements of the Chilean Healthcare system (lesson learned from SIDRA 1), SIDRA 2 made the bold move to focus on homegrown start ups and in house developed solutions from the regional health-care providers.
After hearing what FHIR has to offer, Chileans asked themselves: "Why start now implementing a standard from the eighties (HL7 V2) in a struggle to catch up, when we have the unique chance to assume a leadership role in the adaption of a brand new standard that fits our requirements much better?"
In a few years from now, we may all be looking to Chile to see how health information exchange works on a national scale!
The first steps are made: The Chilean HL7 Affiliate organisation is just about to be born and efforts are being made to make FHIR a integral part of the government's long term healthcare strategy.
With both Germany and Chile standing at the beginning of adopting FHIR I hope to be able to keep in touch with our peers at the other end of the earth and share our experiences.