A Web Services Approach to Public Health Clinical Decision Support

David Raths | Healthcare Informatics | October 22, 2016

CHOP informaticists use FHIR to match public health recommendations to relevant patient encounters in real time

Although it is still early days, I am increasingly convinced that the movement to bring a web services approach to healthcare is real. Every week brings announcements of new efforts to create modules that do one thing well and that providers could subscribe to from within their EHR. This approach makes so much more sense than each provider working with its software vendor to recreate the wheel.This is especially appealing in the realm of clinical decision support (CDS), in which knowledge management is so time-consuming and difficult for provider organizations.

But could hospital physicians and ambulatory providers subscribe to real-time public health clinical decision support information from within their EHR workflow? That is the question that two clinical informatics fellows at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) are seeking to answer with the creation of PHRASE (Population Health Risk Assessment Support Engine). As I understood it, their prototype solution takes advantage of FHIR to match up public health recommendations to relevant patient encounters in real time.

PHRASE was chosen as the first place winner of the Practical Playbook and the de Beaumont Foundation's Closing the Data Divide Challenge and also one of four to take first place in ONC's Provider User Experience Challenge. On Oct. 20, Mark Tobias, M.D., and Naveen Muthu, M.D., the two informatics fellows and practicing physicians, gave a presentation at CHOP about the problems they saw in getting relevant public health information at the point of care and how their solution might help...