The FHIM Receives “Two Thumbs Up” from The Open Group

thumbsIn a recently released report, the Federal Health Architecture’s (FHA) Federal Health Information Model (FHIM) was reviewed by The Open Group Healthcare Forum, a forum of The Open Group – a global consortium of more than 450 organizations focused on achieving business objectives through IT standards. The Open Group’s private and public sector global Healthcare and Enterprise Architecture experts commended the FHIM in a white paper titled Enhancing Health Information Exchange with the FHIM for five main reasons:

  • The model catalogs a large number of key shared information exchange needs
  • Actual scenarios were provided by 20 federal partners)
  • It is a structured model populated with consensus-based industry standards
  • It documents the model-building processes, which are key to building understanding, confidence and support
  • It enhances automation of healthcare data exchange, thus promoting higher quality and efficiency

These findings reflect the key purpose of the FHIM, which was designed to improve semantic interoperability across the federal sector for efficient, secure health information exchange (HIE) between public and private entities.

“The FHIM is one of FHA’s federal partner priorities. This positive review by The Open Group, a private organization, is a win for FHA and our federal partners. It says that the FHIM is on the right track to supporting the critical requirements of the federal agencies – which is to interoperate securely and effectively with their exchange partners,” said FHA Director Gail Kalbfleisch.

Access the Executive Summary of the white paper on The Open Group’s website.

(Note: This link will take you to the executive summary which contains another link that will allow you to access the full version of the paper.)

The Federal Health Information Model (FHIM) was built through collaboration with the FHA’s federal partners to essentially help answer the interoperability conundrum among healthcare systems. The model harmonizes content, including information terminologies and value sets, from federal partners and standards development organizations, and presents it in logical and conceptual views based on various specialized health domains.

The Federal Health Architecture, which leads the FHIM initiative, has long touted the benefits of the FHIM, which, when used in connection with Model Driven Health Tools, includes its ability to significantly improve the efficiency of HIE and reduce (by 50 percent or more) the time it takes to produce implementation standards. The FHIM generates implementation standards that fully support semantic health interoperability.

Once the review of the FHIM was completed, FHA opted to become a member of The Open Group in order to better collaborate with private stakeholders, promote interoperability beyond the federal enterprise and share best practices with partners in the private sector.

“We look forward to partnering with The Open Group as the consortium plays a leading role in developing solutions to the problems that have troubled many prior efforts to enhance interoperability in healthcare.,” said Kalbfleisch. “We are excited about joining the Healthcare Forum and becoming a part of the synergy that comes from collaborating with other members.”

The Open Group is an international vendor-and technology-neutral consortium upon which organizations rely to lead the development of IT standards and certifications, and to provide them with access to key industry peers, suppliers and best practices. The consortium provides guidance and an open environment in order to ensure interoperability and vendor neutrality. Further information on The Open Group can be found at