Creating documents in clinFHIR 

I did a demo of clinFHIR for the Clinicians on FHIR group that will be meeting at the Working Group Meeting next week, and completely forgot to talk about creating/viewing documents in clinFHIR using the scenario builder. This is functionality that has been around for a while, and allows you to create a FHIR document by adding a Composition resource to the scenario, and then linking up the other resource to it.

So I thought I’d do a post on it!

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Creating Clinical and Analysis models

As you may know, one of the things that excites me about FHIR is the potential that it has to involve the clinician in the design of health IT systems (and I’m using ‘clinician’ in the widest sense – doctor, nurse allied health etc – anyone who delivers care to a patient).

So far a lot of my thoughts have been theory rather than practice, so it is great to try these ideas out on a real project – the reporting of Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR) by a clinician to a central service – such as a National EHR!

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Following my post yesterday, someone who shall remain nameless (you know who you are Brian) suggested that it would also be good to be able to make GraphQL queries from clinFHIR. I know even less about GraphQL than I did about FHIRPath, but as Grahame has an implementation on his server, it was a reasonably straightforward matter to put a simple UI in so you can experiment with that against a Patient resource. (GraphQL can do a lot more than that, but this is a start).

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I’ve known about FHIRPath for some time, though I must admit I haven’t paid a lot of attention to it.

Put briefly, FHIRPath is a specification that describes how to identify (and potentially extract) data from a resource using a path based syntax. From the spec:

Of particular importance is the ability to easily and precisely express conditions of basic logic, such as those found in requirements constraints (e.g. Patients must have a name), decision support (e.g. if the patient has diabetes and has not had a recent comprehensive foot exam), cohort definitions (e.g. All male patients aged 60-75), protocol descriptions (e.g. if the specimen has tested positive for the presence of sodium), and numerous other environments.

with these features:

  • Graph-traversal: FHIRPath is a graph-traversal language; authors can clearly and concisely express graph traversal on hierarchical information models (e.g. HL7 V3, FHIR, vMR, CIMI, and QDM).
  • Fluent: FHIRPath has a syntax based on the Fluent Interface pattern
  • Collection-centric: FHIRPath deals with all values as collections, allowing it to easily deal with information models with repeating elements.
  • Platform-independent: FHIRPath is a conceptual and logical specification that can be implemented in any platform.
  • Model-independent: FHIRPath deals with data as an abstract model, allowing it to be used with any information model.

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Implementation Guide viewer

Just a short post to describe some updates to the Implementation Guide viewer (which I’ve renamed from ‘profile viewer’ as it was described in this post.) Thanks to some comments in the FHIR chat from my friend John Moehrke I’ve done some work on the ‘Graph visualizer’ component of the viewer.

The idea is to make it easier to understand the contents of an Implementation Guide, and the relationships between them. Currently limited to Profiles, Extensions & ValueSets – but no reason why it couldn’t be extended (or won’t be 🙂 ).

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clinFHIR profile viewer

Over the years I’ve made a number of attempts to build a profile viewer – to a mixed amount of success. The issue is becoming more urgent though, as profiles (as part of Implementation Guides) start to become published, and vendors such as Orion Health need to think about how we are to support them.

The issue is even more important for vendors in the international space, as our solutions are going to have to support different profiles in different countries, and we cannot assume that the profiles will be in alignment even for the same concept.

We’re not going to solve that issue right now (though it does highlight that the developers of profiles need to be aware of it and ideally working to avoid it as much as possible), but the ability to view profiles from different jurisdictions and analyse them in a common way is going to be important. Read more of this post

Viewing resource instances in clinFHIR

One thing you need to do quite frequently in the FHIR world is to look at resource instances (whether in XML or JSON), and this can be quite complex.

A little trick I use quite frequently is to use the clinFHIR scenario builder to create a hierarchical “tree view” of the resource, which I find easier to review than the raw format.

To do this, follow these steps.

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