United BioSource Advances Healthcare Interoperability at HL7 FHIR Connectathon

United BioSource LLC (UBC)

BLUE BELL, PA — United BioSource LLC (UBC), a leading provider of evidence development solutions, recently played an instrumental role in advancing healthcare interoperability at the Health Level Seven (HL7) International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) Connectathon, held from 16th to 18th January 2024.

The Connectathon focuses on enabling healthcare interoperability through FHIR, a standard for exchanging healthcare information electronically. Participants, including vendors, healthcare providers, administrators, and peers, converge several times a year to rapidly learn to implement the standard and validate their conformance to the specification and mature implementation guides.

During the event, UBC successfully implemented Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) administration software, a critical tool in ensuring the safe use of medications. The software was tested against an Electronic Health Records (EHR) system, demonstrating its compatibility and functionality.

“Connectathon participation is a crucial step in advancing interoperability,” said Kelee Petzelt, REMS Use Case Coordinator at Point of Care Partners/CodeX. “We are grateful for UBC’s efforts, which enabled us to experience the workflows first-hand. This process allows us to fine-tune the standards to efficiently integrate REMS into workflows, share data across stakeholders, and reduce the burden on staff and patients.”

Natalie O’Donnell, SVP, Head of Safety & Risk Management at UBC, highlighted the tangible benefits of this technology, particularly for prescribers. Within their usual EHR system workflow, prescribers can be notified of a REMS and its applicable safety elements when ordering medication. Furthermore, prescribers can supply the necessary information for the Elements to Assure Safe Use (ETASU) within their EHR system — all without needing additional logins.

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According to Saneel Vasram, Program Director at CodeX, the automation of interoperable exchange of standardized REMS data is a key component of this use case, championed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “The shared CodeX vision and community-driven effort to reduce REMS clinical workflow burden, technical implementation effort, and improved quality of REMS data is integral to optimizing safe medication use and health outcomes.”

UBC’s implementation aims to streamline the process, reducing the burden on prescribers and patients and indirectly easing the load on pharmacies. Most data can be supplied directly from the EHR to the REMS form, eliminating or severely reducing the need for prescriber data entry. “This creates enormous value for a REMS implementation,” said Ms. O’Donnell, adding that this streamlined process will enhance compliance and overall safety.

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