Care Plan

$10 / year

This dataset shows the intention of how one or more practitioners intend to deliver care for a particular patient, group or community for a period of time, possibly limited to care for a specific condition or set of conditions.


Care Plans are used in many areas of healthcare with a variety of scopes. They can be as simple as a general practitioner keeping track of when their patient is next due for a tetanus immunization through to a detailed plan for an oncology patient covering diet, chemotherapy, radiation, lab work and counseling with detailed timing relationships, pre-conditions and goals. They may be used in veterinary care or clinical research to describe the care of a herd or other collection of animals. In public health, they may describe education or immunization campaigns.

This resource takes an intermediate approach to complexity. It captures basic details about who is involved and what actions are intended without dealing in discrete data about dependencies and timing relationships. These can be supported where necessary using the extension mechanism.

The scope of care plans may vary widely. Examples include:

– Multi-disciplinary cross-organizational care plans; e.g. An oncology plan including the oncologist, home nursing staff, pharmacy and others
– Plans to manage specific disease/condition(s) (e.g. nutritional plan for a patient post bowel resection, neurological plan post head injury, pre-natal plan, post-partum plan, grief management plan, etc.)
– Decision support generated plans following specific practice guidelines (e.g. stroke care plan, diabetes plan, falls prevention, etc.)
– Self-maintained patient or caregiver authored plans identifying their goals and an integrated understanding of actions to be taken

This resource can be used to represent both proposed plans (for example, recommendations from a decision support engine or returned as part of a consult report) as well as active plans. The nature of the plan is communicated by the status. Some systems may need to filter CarePlans to ensure that only appropriate plans are exposed via a given user interface.

For simplicity’s sake, CarePlan allows the inline definition of activities as part of a plan using the activity.detail element. However, activities can also be defined using references to the various “request” resources. These references could be to resources with a status of “planned” or to an active order. It is possible for planned activities to exist (e.g. appointments) without needing a CarePlan at all. CarePlans are used when there’s a need to group activities, goals and/or participants together to provide some degree of context.

Care Plans can be tied to specific Conditions, however they can also be condition-independent and instead focused on a particular type of care (e.g. psychological, nutritional) or the care delivered by a particular practitioner or group of practitioners.

An Immunization Recommendation can be interpreted as a narrow type of CarePlan dealing only with immunization events. Where such information could appear in either resource, the immunization-specific resource is preferred.

Care Plans represent a specific plan instance for a particular patient or group. It is not intended to be used to define generic plans or protocols that are independent of a specific individual or group. Care Plan represents a specific intent, not a general definition. Protocols and order sets are supported through PlanDefinition.

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.

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 Care Plans Resource, Electronic Health Records Exchange Through FHIR

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) string value 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-
Concept NameComputer Ready NameTypeDollar RefDescriptionItemsEnumRequiredConst
CarePlanresourceTypeThis is a CarePlan resourceCarePlan
CarePlanid#/definitions/idThe logical id of the resource as used in the URL for the resource. Once assigned this value never changes.
CarePlanmeta#/definitions/MetaThe metadata about the resource. This is content that is maintained by the infrastructure. Changes to the content might not always be associated with version changes to the resource.
CarePlanimplicitRules#/definitions/uriA reference to a set of rules that were followed when the resource was constructed and which must be understood when processing the content. Often this is a reference to an implementation guide that defines the special rules along with other profiles etc.
CarePlan_implicitRules#/definitions/ElementExtensions for implicitRules
CarePlanlanguage#/definitions/codeThe base language in which the resource is written.
CarePlan_language#/definitions/ElementExtensions for language
CarePlantext#/definitions/NarrativeA human-readable narrative that contains a summary of the resource and can be used to represent the content of the resource to a human. The narrative need not encode all the structured data but is required to contain sufficient detail to make it "clinically safe" for a human to just read the narrative. Resource definitions may define what content should be represented in the narrative to ensure clinical safety.
CarePlancontainedarrayThese resources do not have an independent existence apart from the resource that contains them - they cannot be identified independently and nor can they have their own independent transaction scope.{'$ref': '#/definitions/ResourceList'}
CarePlanextensionarrayMay be used to represent additional information that is not part of the basic definition of the resource. 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 there is a set of requirements that SHALL be met as part of the definition of the extension.{'$ref': '#/definitions/Extension'}
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