The scope of the EvidenceVariable resource is to describe a “PICO” element that knowledge (evidence, assertion, recommendation) is about. PICO stands for:
– Population – the population within which exposures and outcomes are being considered
– Intervention – the conditional state or exposure state being described for which one is expressing the risk of or effect on an outcome
– Comparison – the alternative conditional state or alternative exposure state when one is comparing states for the effect on an outcome
– Outcome – the result or effect of an intervention or exposure in a population.
PICO (and its variants like PECO or PICOT) is a universal acronym used in evidence-based medicine communities to clearly express research questions and evidence findings. The Evidence Variable resource allows expression of the components of a PICO question in codeable and reusable formats.
Multiple resources describing evidence findings (Evidence, Effect Evidence Synthesis, Effect Evidence Bit, Risk Evidence Synthesis, Risk Evidence Bit) will reference Evidence Variable to describe what the evidence findings are about.
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.