Others titles

  • FHIR Communication 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


Communication Resource is an occurrence of information being transmitted; e.g. an alert that was sent to a responsible provider, a public health agency that was notified about a reportable condition.

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Communication is one of the event resources in the FHIR workflow specification. It is a record of communication even if it is planned or has failed. Communication is a conveyance of information from one entity, a sender, to another entity, a receiver. The sender and receivers may be patients, practitioners, related persons, organizations, or devices. Communication use cases include:

– A reminder or alert delivered to a responsible provider
– A recorded notification from the nurse to the on-call physician (or any other specified person) that a patient’s temperature exceeds a value
– A notification to a public health agency of a patient presenting with a communicable disease reportable to the public health agency
– Patient educational material sent by a provider to a patient
– Unable to deliver lab results to ordering physician

Non-patient specific communication use cases may include:
– A nurse call from a hall bathroom
– Advisory for battery service from a pump

This resource is a record of communication that has occurred. It does not represent the actual flow of communication. While AuditEvent can track electronic disclosures of information, it cannot track conversations, phone calls, letters and other interactions that are not system-to-system. And even for system-to-system communications, the specific end recipients might not be known. Furthermore, AuditEvents are not considered to be “part” of the patient record, while Communication instances are. The Communication resource is not used as a general audit mechanism to track every disclosure of every record. Rather, it is used when a clinician or other user wants to ensure a record of a particular communication is itself maintained as part of the reviewable health record.

Flag resources represent a continuous ongoing “communication” alerting anyone dealing with the patient of certain precautions to take or issues to be aware of. The flags are continuously present as an ongoing reminder. This is distinct from Communication where there is a specific intended sender and receiver and the information is delivered only once.

Communication and Encounter: The Communication is about the transfer of information (which might or might not occur as part of an encounter), while Encounter is about the coming together (in person or virtually) of a Patient with a Practitioner. Communication does not deal with the duration of a call, it represents the fact that information was transferred at a particular point in time.

The phone calls involving the Patient should be handled using Encounter. Phone calls not involving the patient (e.g. between practitioners or practitioner to relative) that are tracked for billing or other purposes can use Communication to represent the information transferred but are not ideal to represent the call itself. A better mechanism for handling such calls will be explored in a future release. This resource is referenced by itself

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 Communication 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) 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-
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 RefDescriptionItemsRequiredConst
CommunicationresourceTypeThis is a Communication resourceCommunication
Communicationid#/definitions/idThe logical id of the resource as used in the URL for the resource. Once assigned this value never changes.
Communicationmeta#/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.
CommunicationimplicitRules#/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.
Communication_implicitRules#/definitions/ElementExtensions for implicitRules
Communicationlanguage#/definitions/codeThe base language in which the resource is written.
Communication_language#/definitions/ElementExtensions for language
Communicationtext#/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.
CommunicationcontainedarrayThese 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.{'$ref': '#/definitions/ResourceList'}
CommunicationextensionarrayMay be used to represent additional information that is not part of the basic definition of the resource. To make the use of extensions safe and manageable there is a strict set of governance applied to the definition and use of extensions. Though any implementer can define an extension there is a set of requirements that SHALL be met as part of the definition of the extension.{'$ref': '#/definitions/Extension'}