This resource allows for the instantiation of various types of legally enforceable agreements or policies as shareable, consumable, and executable artifacts as well as precursory content upon which instances may be based or derivative artifacts supporting management of their basal instance. The resource is general enough to encode a broad range of legal artifacts such as:
– A Contract instance, which may undergo legal state transitions during its formation.
– Templates for or agreed upon instances of rules, obligations, and prohibitions.
– An organizational or jurisdictional policy, for example, for establishing rules of conduct or obligations necessary to achieve societal goods. Or it may encode a contract instance, which may be accepted by one party in exchange of considerations offered by another party.
– A derivative of a contract instance for purposes of workflow management of the agreement, e.g., for retrieval or indication of agreed upon terms, such as entities allowed to exchange governed assets.
Contracts are promises or understandings that are enforceable by law in case of any violation or breach by any involved party or organization. A Contract instance may be a unilateral mandate such as a policy, or a unilateral, bilateral, or multilateral agreement, which impacts the influence of the parties over the terms of the agreement, and the burdens and risks incurred.
Contract Resource may be typed to support multiple types of domain policies and contractual agreements, and specializations of those types. A Contract instance must include at least one term with an offer, which obligates the offerer to or not to do, perform, or effectuate some action in exchange for some consideration in return from the offeree, e.g., another obligatory action or non-action, or an asset.
The Contract asset element supports a detailed description of the consideration being exchanged in a Contract instance or the satisfaction of a policy imperative such as the obligation to render aid as required by local law. The Contract valuedItem element supports a detailed description of the monetary worth of a Contract asset being marketed, the price of products being sold, or the property taxes required under jurisdictional tax law.
A Contract may be used as a content derivative, which contains the minimal content derived from the basal information source at a specific stage in its lifecycle, which is needed for management and communications about the basal information source. For example, the metadata used to register a Contract’s characteristics and retrieval address in a federated registry/repository exchange ecosystem.
In addition to other uses of derivatives, the Contract Resource may function simply as the computable representation of the executed contract, which may be the attached to the Contract Resource as the ‘legally binding’ scanned paper contract attachment or referenced location, or as the ‘friendly’ electronic form such as an HTML page or a questionnaire response. By using the Contract link ID elements, which are associated with key Contract elements, a Contract Resource may be automatically populated with the values expressed in a related questionnaire response.
Note that the Contract Resource may be considered the legally binding contract only if it is intended to be the sole ‘executed’ encoding of this contract, and includes the legally binding signatures. I.e., even if the Contract Resource is populated based on content in a hard-copy contract or an electronic contract form intended to collect both the content and the signature of relevant parties to the contract, if contracting parties have agreed or acknowledged that the Contract Resource conveys the binding and enforceable legal contract and that it is fully traceable to the forms used to collect its content, meeting the legal concept of being within the ‘four corners of a contract’, i.e., that the meaning of the contract, will, or deed is represented solely by this instance of the Contract Resource. This usage could be implemented with digital ledger technology to form a ‘smart contract’ to the extent that an instance supports elements critical to computable algorithms intended to achieve some output. Where the Consent resource applies, the Consent resource should be used. Where a Contract exists for a consent directive then if a Consent for this also exists the Consent shall reference the Contract.
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.