Article Highlights:

  • Only 24 percent of healthcare companies currently utilize application programming interfaces (APIs) at scale, according to data from the Engine Group commissioned by Change Healthcare. Despite low utilization, the research revealed most healthcare stakeholders predict Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) APIs will become widespread by 2024.
  • Currently, providers are leveraging APIs in tactical ways, such as collecting payments and eligibility verification. On the other hand, payers are strategically utilizing APIs to gain valuable insight and build engagement. Provider respondents said security and costs are the two major API adoption barriers. Meanwhile, payers pointed at technical infrastructure, privacy, and a lack of standards as critical adoption challenges.
  • Looking forward, the respondents had mixed reactions about FHIR’s maturity. But the majority of respondents said providers and developers would adopt FHIR over other standards, such as HL7 and electronic data interchange (EDI). “It’s a ‘standardized’ way of allowing very local control of massive amounts of information … In healthcare, that is really important, because that local control can translate to consent and privacy control … It allows for information to be generated at a population level that is otherwise impossible to generate… You’re better representing the population … which means that you’re getting better answers that are more diverse and more representative,” concluded an anonymous healthcare executive.

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