The Basic resource is intended for use in three circumstances:
– When an implementer needs a resource concept that is likely to be defined by Health Level Seven International (HL7) in the future, but they have not yet done so (due to bandwidth issues, lack of sufficient requirements, lower prioritization, etc.)
– When there is a need to convey a narrative-only construct that does not neatly correspond to one of the other resources, either because it combines aspects of several resources (e.g. Assessment + Plan) or because the allowed content is flexible such that the system cannot be totally sure what sort of content might have been included in the narrative text.
– Other than the circumstances above, this resource will see minimal use. To keep the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) specification manageable, it cannot incorporate every site-specific requirement that might be needed in some implementation somewhere. This set of resources likely will not ever be officially defined in HL7.
There is also a fourth circumstance: An implementer wishes to convey information that could/should be conveyed using a standard resource, however, they want to represent the information in a custom format that is not aligned with the official resource elements. While this resource would be the preferred way of meeting that use-case because it will at least be wire-format compatible, such a use would not be conformant because making use of the Basic resource would prevent the healthcare-related information from being safely processed, queried and analyzed by other conformant systems.
Implementers do not need to be concerned with which of the three categories their desired resource fits within. If they need a resource and it clearly does not fit one of the ones currently defined, they should use Basic.
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.