September 21, 2017

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Engineers Overseas for SMART and FHIR (FHIR DevDays 2016)

In a previous post, we discussed the need to provide education around our ecosystem and implementation of the FHIRⓇ and SMARTⓇ standards for developers and how we did so at our annual Cerner Health Conference. That same week, we were also a part of FHIR DevDays, which included a track entitled “Apps in the EHR.” We worked alongside track participants who were seeking to integrate their apps in a variety of EHRs, including Cerner.

FHIR DevDays is a conference put on by Furore in Amsterdam. This year, over 250 participants from all over the world gathered to attend tutorials given by FHIR community leaders in the mornings and participate in hands-on sessions in the afternoons.

Cerner co-led the “Apps in the EHR” track. This track was comprised of roughly 20 people from across France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Josh Mandel kicked things off with a tutorial on SMART and how to get started building cross-vendor applications. Afterward, we met with track participants to show them how to get plugged into Cerner’s sandbox and ecosystem. We started out by covering our documentation launchpoint, registering applications in our code console, and going over our technical documentation. For those who didn’t come to the conference with an existing application to work on, we provided a tutorial. With those tools in hand, they were ready to get to work!

Over the course of the three afternoons, we assisted people as they used SMART and FHIR for the first time, but also people with experience in FHIR who were looking to get their technical and business questions answered about integrating with Cerner. Several of the projects were plugged into multiple sandboxes. The developers shared that once their app was working in one sandbox, it was easy to plug into others, which is exactly how it should be!

When we gave our closing presentation, we actually had some technical difficulties loading up the slides. Little did we know that Grahame Grieve, the original architect of FHIR, snapped a picture and would use it shortly in his closing keynote on FHIR’s future.

With this image on screen, he stated: “[to us:] Well done. [to the rest of the audience:] Next time somebody in your acquaintance tells you that certain vendors aren’t invested in interoperability, I want you to think about this. That’s part of what the FHIR community is about, alright? Cerner and Epic on the stage together. It’s not special anymore, even. It’s great!”

FHIR DevDays is Europe’s biggest FHIR conference and many attendees don’t typically make it to the tri-annual HL7 Working Group Meetings that focus on the formation and evolution of the specification. We were pleased to be a part of that gathering and to work alongside people interested in engaging with Cerner. But, we were also encouraged by the comments Grahame and others gave as they expressed appreciation that Cerner would be present and show our interest and dedication to the standard. We look forward to being back at DevDays 2017 this November to lead tracks on SMART & FHIR and CDS Hooks.