A Focus on Standards - New Zealand’s national health services directory – FHIR API
At the recent NZHIT – Digital enablers (DEHIG) subgroup meeting Healthpoint profiled their national health services directory to NZHIT members. The presentation was in the context of the information profiled in the Healthpoint services directory and in relation to sharing this information widely via an HL7® FHIR® API originally launched at the end of 2019. Healthpoint was one of the first health technology organisations in New Zealand to implement a standards-based API.
Over 750,000 people every month access the Healthpoint Website, which is the NZ national services directory. This is in addition to the website's use by DHBs, practice management systems, health apps, and national helplines. In total more than 8,700 health services are profiled on Healthpoint including public hospital services, private medical specialists and hospitals, GP practices, community pharmacies, allied healthcare providers, mental health and addiction services, community and social services amongst others. The healthcare landscape is very dynamic and on average there are up to 1000 service changes each month. Healthpoint has quality systems and processes that facilitate four monthly review cycles by the services themselves. This ensures accuracy and currency.
The Healthpoint API allows applications, health organisations, and health provider websites to easily access provider information to connect patients with services that support their health and wellness. Healthpoint chose to build the API to the HL7 FHIR standard given the emphasis on web standards, easy implementation, and interoperability, and believe this will support the future state of New Zealand’s interoperable health system.
Healthpoint has used the FHIR standard to provide a true reflection of the New Zealand healthcare service landscape. The Healthpoint API Gateway enables easy access to third party applications, websites, and health organisations to obtain content from the Healthpoint website, specifically according to their content needs, as they need it. The API can be accessed by unlimited users and applications.
As of today there are more than 80 organisations in New Zealand using the API and this continues to grow each year.
Developers or people interested in using the Healthpoint API are able to register on WWW.HEALTHPOINTAPI.COM . Upon registering they are given access to the UAT/Sandbox environment to try it out as well as given access to detailed documentation, examples, samples, and the Open API (Swagger) tool.
The Healthpoint FHIR API is a RESTful Web Service implementation of the FHIR HL7 standard for healthcare data exchange. It is built on HAPI® FHIR®, an open-source server implementation of the FHIR specification developed in Java. The Healthpoint Server runs on AWS® infrastructure in order to be robust, responsive, reliable, scalable, and secure.
As part of the development project, Healthpoint has liaised with HL7 New Zealand – the local Affiliate of HL7 International – who have provided expert advice on technical issues relating to the implementation of the core FHIR standard in a local context. In particular, a number of extensions to the standard have been agreed upon, some of which will be published for national use in the HL7 FHIR NZ Base Implementation Guide. This is an important step in building a local FHIR Community Process that will ensure consistent and conformant use of the standard.
For questions please contact:
John Anthony Williams – Executive Director
Mobile 021 316 738
Samantha Burchell – Operations Manager
Mobile 021 2444 057