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Healthcare Forum

Our Vision

Imagine a world in which health information is available when and where you need it.

Healthcare Interoperability

We believe that person-centered, value-based healthcare depends on interoperability. Interoperability enables the flow of information within and across healthcare systems. Information flow based on healthcare system requirements, standards development, and IT implementation systems helps enable actors to produce their core capabilities effectively, error-free, and securely.  Learn more

Healthcare Forum Membership Benefits Healthcare Consultants, Payers, and Providers

  • Guide standards development to ensure adoption of necessary requirements for interoperable solutions
  • Improve information flow within your organization and with partners in your care delivery ecosystem 
  • Address your pressing Healthcare IT business problems
  • Engage in regular dialog with diverse healthcare stakeholdders about improved interoperability and information flow
  • Drive the healthcare community towards less proprietary, more open solutions to reduce lock-in and improve business efficiencies
  • Gain business efficiencies through better information flow with ecosystem partners at a lower cost

Healthcare Forum Membership Benefits IT Hardware, Software, and Consulting Services Vendors and Medical Device Vendors

  • Influence standards development and gain early access to emerging standards that affect your business
  • Gain a clearer and more empathic understanding of customer HIT and EHR pain-points and requirements
  • Demonstrate leadership in Healthcare IT – show customers and collaborators your commitment to improving information flow in care delivery and outcomes improvement
  • Collaborate with other innovators; prepare for the future; develop key relationships


The Healthcare Forum, in collaboration with the Dutch center of excellence for health IT, Nictiz, has translated and expanded the Dutch ZiRA.  The ZiRA in English Guide is an open-source hospital reference architecture that can be used to solve business problems and improve patient care in any hospital system worldwide.  It is:

  • Proven
  • Easy to use at no cost
  • Continuously enhanced by members of The Open Group Healthcare Forum



The following Files are available to Use the ZiRA in English                

ZiRA v1.2.eap is a Sparx Enterprise Architect* file and the source file of the ZiRA containing all ZiRA elements and views (models)

ZiRA v1.2.archimate is the Archi** file with all the ZiRA elements and main views from the ZiRA source file and can be directly opened in Archi

ZiRA v1.2.xml is the ArchiMate Model Exchange file with all the ZiRA elements from the ZiRA source file and can be used to import in an architecture tool

ZiRA v1.2.xlsx is an Excel spreadsheet that contains different tabs with overviews of principles, services, business functions, processes and information domains, application functions and matrices of information objects with zibs and clustering of business activities and information objects in the information domains

ZiRA v1.2.pptx contains all ZiRA models in powerpoint (to adapt them to your own needs)



* The ZiRA source file (.eap) is modeled with the Enterprise Architect tool from Sparx Systems:

** The ZiRA Archi file (.archimate) can be (re-)used with the open-source Archi tool: 

fhim logo

The FHIM is the "Federated Health Information Model". It is a complex but elegantly designed framework (including information and terminology modeling) to help enable widespread health information exchange. It is applicable at all levels: local, regional, and global.

The FHIM was developed by the US Government and its contractors, within the now defunct Federal Health Architecture (FHA) Program. The FHIM was supported by over 20 Federal Agencies. It was organizationaly located within the ONC. When the governement selected The Open Group as the new FHIM Steward in 2019, over $5 million and 200,000 person hours had been spent building and using the FHIM, primarily within the VA and DoD.

The FHIM is an integrated model composed of health and healthcare-related content explicitly aligned with industry information models and standards. The FHIM addresses two persistent gaps:

  • The “too many standards” problem in healthcare
  • Data inconsistencies within and between standards

The FHIM supports the exchange of meaningful, interoperable information, quickly and accurately and consistently, for the betterment of patient care.

The FHIM Profile Builder (FPB) is an open source tool managed by The Open Group that responds to the need to produce standards-based API profiles that can be easily reused to promote widespread interoperability. The FPB can automate profile building, rendering the use of APIs, such as FHIR, functional without special effort, as required by legislation (in the US) and the exigencies of typical clinical practice settings.

O-hera diagram

Health Enterprise Reference Architecture (O-HERA)

The Healthcare Forum has developed a comprehensive, 12-step framework designed to identify and deliver digital solutions to data issues experienced by health services delivery enterprises and their vendors.

The Framework is rooted in deep knowledge of:

1) Health services provider and supplier industries, including the political, technical, and socio-cultural contexts in which they operate

2) The barriers and benefits to using HIT to solve business problems

3) Best practices and lessons learned from using Enterprise Architecture methods to create efficiencies in industries as diverse as communications, financial services, and defense

Using the Healthcare Architectural Framework, the Healthcare Forum is also developing a Health Enterprise Reference Architecture (HERA):

1) To provide a downloadable ArchiMate® model and guide to develop implementation reference architectures

2) HERA can be implemented by a wide range of healthcare and IT stakeholders, using a wide range of tools available to them, and tailored to legacy systems


The Open Group events are for business and technology professionals interested in achieving business objectives through technology standards. The Open Group organizes conferences, member meetings, industry verticals, webinars, and podcasts on a wide variety of topics.

Check our events calendar for upcoming events.

Follow The Open Group on Twitter @theopengroup

Healthcare Library




The HERA is a framework for the development of a reference architecture for a healthcare company, from big to small (50 employees or more). It is a logical, cognitive map that can help most healthcare stakeholders improve their business by using IT in a smarter way. 

White Papers:  


The Open Group Healthcare Forum seeks to advance interoperability to exchange key health and healthcare data.


The goal of the Federal Health Information Model (FHIM) is to support semantic interoperability and harmonize information requirements from federal partners and standards organizations. One might say it aims to bring Boundaryless Information Flow™ to Healthcare. How well does it do this? How can it be used to enhance interoperability on a broad scale? These are the questions addressed in this non-technical paper written by private and public sector global and enterprise architecture experts.

Data Sheets:




Transcript of a discussion on how a global standards body and its ecosystem of partners are working to improve how the healthcare industry operates.