FHIR (6)

GPConnect profiles and key national profiles should all be reviewed by the INTEROPen community, as it is essential for vendors who are implementing them on a national scale to influence the design and ensure there is consistency. However, because the Level 2 CareConnect profiles and CareConnect APIs have a basic set of constraints and operations to support UK interoperability, we hope that they can be taken and used by many local areas, vendors and innovative projects to develop new models of care in a way that doesn’t hold back innovation. We expect these projects will share their learning and specifications, and as they develop and scale, we envisage certain rules and patterns and other profiles emerging that may need to be plugged into a curation process so that other regions can pick them up with a degree of confidence that their design has been technically and clinically validated. Some regions may specifically come to INTEROPen for curation first, as they wish to gain further guidance. We will need to support both approaches.

The Global Digital Exemplars (GDEs), Fast Followers and Local Health and Care Record Exemplar (LHCRE) contracts stipulate the use of FHIR standards as does the NHS Standard Contract. This contractual and funded route covers approximately 60% of frontline NHS organisations.

Category: FHIR

FHIR is an HL7 standard and this initiative appears to have strong industry backing. Indeed, industry was the initial instigators of the decision to move to FHIR.

Priority profiles are already under discussion by various groups within INTEROPen/NHS England/NHS Digital/ PRSB/TechUK and the CCIO/CIO Networks. INTEROPen is acting as a community where these priorities can be defined together.

The FHIR profiles created by INTEROPen members reflect UK standards. However, it is important to understand the curation process used is there to only extend the profiles where necessary to fit local requirements. The curation process takes the FHIR STU3 resource definitions from HL7 International and reviews them to understand where they need to be changed to reflect NHS requirements in England.

This curation process includes not only the NHS but suppliers too, and it is in suppliers’ interests to keep them as close to the international version as possible.

To comply with the requirements of the NHS Standard Contract for ToC, organisations need to ensure they are sending messages:

  • Electronically (no paper or fax) – 2015 NHS Standard Contract
  • Using PRSB standards (AoMRC headings)

Have the capability to send messages:

  • Based on FHIR technology (structured message)
  • Containing coded content when capability available (SNOMED / dm&d)

Useful Links:

PRSB (Professional Records Standards Body):


FHIR messaging:


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