FHIR Report to HL7 Architecture Co-ordination Council

This is a written version of the report I gave to the HL7 Architecture Co-ordination Council (technically, the SAIF roll-out project), at HL7 concerning the development of the FHIR project (It has considerable similarity to the last post, made before the HL7 meeting):

At the last meeting, in San Diego, the RFH project (as it was known then) was an idea, with considerable smoke and mirrors. This meeting, we (myself, Lloyd McKenzie, and Ewout Kramer) have rounded it out, and it’s now a complete methodology (where complete means, no missing holes, not finished and ready to use). FHIR has been fairly thoroughly reviewed in various working groups within HL7 and while there are many identified specific issues with the specification, the overall shape of the specification has generally gained enthusiastic support.

The FHIR development team now has the following 4 priorities for ongoing development in the near future:

  • Collaborating with several domain content work groups in HL7 to either review or develop resources. In particular, we have a formal collaboration with the Pharmacy workgroup, and informal ones with Patient Administration and Orders and Observations. In addition to building actual resources, these collaborations are as much about building processes, knowledge and culture around doing good resource design
  • Further developing the underlying tool chain, the RIM mapping framework, the way terminology is handled, and the integration with existing HL7 content and publishing frameworks
  • Doing implementations to test the basic framework ideas. (there is already a server publicly available, but more on that later)
  • Writing a SAIF mapping between the canonical SAIF (HL7’s internal master architecture framework) and the FHIR specification (this will in effect be the formal FHIR methodology definition)

We have provisional agreement around transferring the FHIR ownership and development resources to HL7 – this should be resolved soon, and then the FHIR specification will more from it’s current place to either http://www.fhir.org or somewhere on the HL7 website.

We’ve also taken this opportunity to strengthen the nascent governance council, and I’m very pleased to welcome Bo Dagnall to the team – FHIR already owes some it’s overall design to Bo, and he’ll provide some real insight and discipline to the council and the overall architecture of FHIR


  1. […] payload. Furthermore, Grahame and I are scheduled to meet in mid-February to discuss how FHIR can create hData Content Profiles for FHIR resources, harmonizing these two approaches. Furthermore, I will work with John to discuss how the […]

  2. Looking forward to the Harmonization with hData. I am really interested in better understanding the formal process for creating the resources. BTW – you might want to participate in the Medication Statement Service project, to make sure that we are starting to use the same approach for serializing partial model graphs.

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