Others titles

  • FHIR Structure Definition 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

Structure Definition

The Structure Definition resource describes a structure – a set of data element definitions, and their associated rules of usage. These structure definitions are used to describe both the content defined in the FHIR specification itself – Resources, data types, the underlying infrastructural types, and also are used to describe how these structures are used in implementations.

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It allows the definitions of the structures to be shared and published through repositories of structure definitions, compared with each other, and used as the basis for code, report and UI (User Interface) generation. The Structure Definition resource has a set of metadata that is mostly shared with the Value Set, Capability Statement and other infrastructure resources.

Structures are able to map elements to concepts in other definition systems. Generally, these are used to map the elements to local implementation models, data paths, and concepts. However they are also used to map to other standards and published terminologies.

StructureDefinitions are used to define the basic structures of FHIR: data types, resources, extensions, and profiles. The same definition structure can also be used to define any arbitrary structures that are a directed acyclic graph with typed nodes, where the primitive types are those defined by the FHIR specification.

This technique has many uses:

– Describing any arbitrary content model
– Describing existing HL7 content models (e.g. v2, CDA) using FHIR
– Describing common design patterns used in FHIR
– Defining a content model to support the mapping language

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 Structure Definition 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-
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-

Data Preview

Concept NameComputer Ready NameTypeDollar RefDescriptionItemsEnumRequiredConst
StructureDefinitionresourceTypeThis is a StructureDefinition resourceStructureDefinition
StructureDefinitionid#/definitions/idThe logical id of the resource as used in the URL for the resource. Once assigned this value never changes.
StructureDefinitionmeta#/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.
StructureDefinitionimplicitRules#/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.
StructureDefinition_implicitRules#/definitions/ElementExtensions for implicitRules
StructureDefinitionlanguage#/definitions/codeThe base language in which the resource is written.
StructureDefinition_language#/definitions/ElementExtensions for language
StructureDefinitiontext#/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.
StructureDefinitioncontainedarrayThese 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.{'$ref': '#/definitions/ResourceList'}
StructureDefinitionextensionarrayMay be used to represent additional information that is not part of the basic definition of the resource. To make the use of extensions safe and manageable there is a strict set of governance applied to the definition and use of extensions. Though any implementer can define an extension there is a set of requirements that SHALL be met as part of the definition of the extension.{'$ref': '#/definitions/Extension'}