Background - HL7-FHIR

What is HL7-FHIR?

Modern eHealth infrastructures are composed of a multitude of digital systems that process information from business processes in the health care sector. These systems need to exchange data in order to comprehensively support a patients journey through the health care system. Ambiguous, contradicting or misinterpreted data can harm a patients life in the worst case. Therefore interoperability standards are needed to harmonize the data exchange among all involved systems. As a secondary effect, FHIR defines and unifies technical terms on the domain level.

FHIR® – Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources ( – is a next generation standards framework created by HL7. FHIR combines the best features of HL7's v2 , HL7 v3 and CDA product lines while leveraging the latest web standards and applying a tight focus on implementability.

FHIR solutions are built from a set of modular components called "Resources". These resources can easily be assembled into working systems that solve real world clinical and administrative problems at a fraction of the price of existing alternatives. FHIR is suitable for use in a wide variety of contexts – mobile phone apps, cloud communications, EHR-based data sharing, server communication in large institutional healthcare providers, and much more. (Source: HL7-FHIR, Release 3)

How does openIMIS relate to HL7-FHIR?

openIMIS is dependent on a variety of other information systems in a national eHealth landscape. As part of the Modular Transformation of openIMIS, all communication interfaces between different modules, internally and to the outside world, are to be based on the data structures defined in FHIR.

Currently openIMIS supports HL7-FHIR in Release 3 (STU3) for selected business processes. As soon as major partners in the ecosystem indicate a switch to FHIR Release 4 (R4), openIMIS will make plans to follow.

What is the scope of HL7-FHIR?

HL7 FHIR resources are structured in modules (not to be confused with openIMIS modules) on five levels. the following table will provide links to the resources and modules in their respective version and list the ones that are relevant for openIMIS.






5Providing the ability to reason about the healthcare process
Clinical ReasoningClinical Reasoning
4Record-keeping and Data Exchange for the healthcare process
3Linking to real world concepts in the healthcare system
2Supporting implementation and binding to external specifications
Implementer SupportImplementer Support
Security & PrivacySecurity & Privacy
Linked DataExchange
1Basic framework on which the specification is built