Lost in translation: How FHIR and OMOP are competing toward Healthcare Data Interoperability

The context

The healthcare industry has experienced a rapid transformation in recent years, with the rise of digital health technologies and the increasing possibilities thanks to the use of electronic health records (EHRs). However, this transformation has also created a challenge for healthcare organizations. They needed to find an effective way to communicate and collaborate with each other while they were all speaking in different languages. 

This is where healthcare standards come into play. They allow to structure and to format healthcare data, enabling interoperability between different healthcare systems and applications. However, it can be quite a puzzle to figure out the different purposes of each standard and see how all these pieces fit together in the bigger picture. 

In this article, we’ll zoom in on two standards that are often compared to each other: FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) and OMOP CDM (Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership Common Data Model). They are both widely used to structure healthcare data and can both represent similar medical concepts. But which one is the better standard, FHIR or OMOP CDM? 

Spoiler: neither of them. 

So let’s start with the conclusion... 

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