Others titles

  • FHIR Attachment Resource
  • Electronic Health Records Exchange Through FHIR


  • FHIR
  • HL7
  • Medical Terminology
  • Processes Data
  • Processes Information
  • Processes Documentation
  • Health Information Exchange
  • Electronic Health Records
  • FHIR Smart
  • Smart on FHIR


The element Attachment is used for containing or referencing attachments and additional data content defined in other formats. The most common use of Attachment is to include images or reports in some report format such as PDF. However, it can be used for any data that has a MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) type.

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The actual content of an Attachment can be conveyed directly using the data element or a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) reference can be provided. If both are provided, the reference will point to the same content as found in the data. The reference can never be reused to point to some different data (i.e. the reference is version specific). The URL reference will point to a location that resolves to actual data; some URIs (Uniform Resource Identifier). If the URL is a relative reference, it is interpreted in the same way as a resource reference.

The content type element should always be populated when an Attachment contains data and may be populated when there is a URL. It can include charset information and other mime type extensions as appropriate. If there is no character set in the content type then the correct course of action is undefined, though some media types may define a default character set and/or the correct character set may be able to be determined by inspection of the content.

Attachment data are not constrained, and therefore can be of any content type and encoding. Therefore extra care needs to be taken to validate the content against malicious or malformed content.

Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) is a draft standard describing data formats and elements (known as “resources”) and an application programming interface (API) for exchanging electronic health records. The standard was created by the Health Level Seven International (HL7) health-care standards organization.

Its goal is to facilitate interoperation between legacy healthcare systems, to make it easy to provide healthcare information to healthcare providers and individuals on a wide variety of devices from computers to tablets to cell phones, and to allow third-party application developers to provide medical applications which can be easily integrated into existing systems.

FHIR provides an alternative to document-centric approaches by directly exposing discrete data elements as services. For example, basic elements of healthcare like patients, admissions, diagnostic reports and medications can each be retrieved and manipulated via their own resource URLs (Uniform Resource Locators). FHIR was supported at an American Medical Informatics Association meeting by many EHR (Electronic Health Record) vendors which value its open and extensible nature.

About this Dataset

Data Info

Date Created


Last Modified




Update Frequency


Temporal Coverage


Spatial Coverage

United States


John Snow Labs; Health Level Seven International;

Source License URL

Source License Requirements


Source Citation



FHIR, HL7, Medical Terminology, Processes Data, Processes Information, Processes Documentation, Health Information Exchange, Electronic Health Records, FHIR Smart, Smart on FHIR

Other Titles

FHIR Attachment Resource, Electronic Health Records Exchange Through FHIR

Data Fields

Name Description Type Constraints
Concept_NameName of the concept in the FHIR structurestringrequired : 1
Computer_Ready_NameA Computer-ready name (e.g. a token) that identifies the structure - suitable for code generation. Note that this name (and other names relevant for code generation, including element & slice names, codes etc) may collide with reserved words in the relevant target language, and code generators will need to handle this.string-
TypeThe type the structure describes.string-
Dollar_RefThe Dollar_Ref ($ref) is a string value and contains a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) which identifies the location of the JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) value being referenced.string-
DescriptionA free text natural language description of the structure and its usestring-
ItemsThe value of the keyword should be an object or an array of objects. If the keyword value is an object, then for the data array to be valid each item of the array should be valid according to the schema in this value.string-
EnumThe enum is used to restrict a value to a fixed set of values. It must be an array with at least one element, where each element is unique.string-
RequiredThe value of the keyword should be an array of unique strings. The data object to be valid should contain all properties with names equal to the elements in the keyword value.string-
ConstThe value of this keyword can be anything. The data is valid if it is deeply equal to the value of the keyword.string-

Data Preview

Concept NameComputer Ready NameTypeDollar RefDescriptionItemsEnumRequiredConst
Attachmentid#/definitions/stringUnique id for the element within a resource (for internal references). This may be any string value that does not contain spaces.
AttachmentextensionarrayMay be used to represent additional information that is not part of the basic definition of the element. To make the use of extensions safe and manageable there is a strict set of governance applied to the definition and use of extensions. Though any implementer can define an extension
AttachmentcontentType#/definitions/codeIdentifies the type of the data in the attachment and allows a method to be chosen to interpret or render the data. Includes mime type parameters such as charset where appropriate.
Attachment_contentType#/definitions/ElementExtensions for contentType
Attachmentlanguage#/definitions/codeThe human language of the content. The value can be any valid value according to BCP 47.
Attachment_language#/definitions/ElementExtensions for language
Attachmentdata#/definitions/base64BinaryThe actual data of the attachment - a sequence of bytes base64 encoded.
Attachment_data#/definitions/ElementExtensions for data
Attachmenturl#/definitions/urlA location where the data can be accessed.
Attachment_url#/definitions/ElementExtensions for url