clinFHIR and 2.1

A quick note for those who will be using clinFHIR at the upcoming WGM – I’ve updated it so that it can read the proposed 2.1 resources. The way it works is that you select the server in the usual way – i.e. clicking the ‘servers’ link at the top right of the screen, and there are now both 2.0 and 2.1 versions of the servers to select from. Read more of this post

Cleaning up clinFHIR

Just a short post for people who may have become frustrated with errors in clinFHIR when selecting patients in the Resource Builder.

What was happening is the clinFHIR keeps a note of all patients who have had resources made for them (by anyone) through the tool – to make it easier to find them later. The list is grouped by server – ie depending on the Data Server you have configured you’ll get the appropriate list.

The issue was that the current servers out there are all test servers – their purpose is to help develop the spec and ensure fitness for purpose, and this means that periodically the contents may be deleted as the resource structure has changed (or for some other purpose). So clinFHIR winds up holding on to some ‘stale’ references – hence the errors.

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clinFHIR demo

We just had a meeting to discuss the format for the next ‘Clinicians on FHIR’ meeting at the January HL7 Working Group meeting. A couple of the folk on the call were unfamiliar with the clinFHIR tooling we use to support the event, so I did a short demonstration and offered to put a few links here to more details.

In addition, my colleague Viet Nguyen has kindly allowed me to share a recording of a demonstration that he gave – you can access it below.

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FHIR at the New Zealand HINZ conference.

As part of the HINZ conference, we (HL7 New Zealand) held a 1 day seminar on FHIR with a focus on clinicians rather than our more usual technical audience. We decided to do this because FHIR is now at a stage where wider clinical input is feasible – it’s at DSTU-2 and there is visualization tooling (clinFHIR) available. Technical folk are already on board with FHIR – it  just makes sense to them – so time to pull in our clinical colleagues that have not yet been involved.

There were 2 parts to the day.

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Creating reusable scenarios using clinFHIR

One of the main reasons for developing tooling to support the clinical Connectathon (now re-branded as clinicians on FHIR) was for Clinicians to use it to ensure that FHIR would meet clinical needs, using specific scenarios as ways of testing it. (Actually our initial scenarios were far too big – but that’s all part of the learning process!)

At the events, we have groups of clinicians that take a scenario and then build sets of resources that could represent that scenario using a test patient – often there is more than one way we can do this, and one of the purposes of the event is to develop ‘best practice’ guides. One of the things that would be nice to do is to be able to save – and then reload – these scenarios so that they can be shared with others and examined outside of the event. (It would also help negate the issue that all this work is saved in test servers that are periodically cleared).

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Talking with a Clinician

So I was talking with one of my colleagues at Orion Health today – a clinician who has just joined us and wanted to understand what FHIR was – to a reasonable degree of detail. I thought I’d summarize our conversation here as it’s useful to record what a clinician found interesting, and wanted to know about.

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Server roles in FHIR

As part of the preparation for the connectathon and clinicians challenge at the WGM in October, I decided to update clinFHIR so that it can access different servers for data and ‘conformance’ resources like ValueSet and StructureDefinition. Currently clinFHIR assumes that everything it needs to operate is supplied by a single server – from looking up profiles (StructureDefinition resources), finding and expanding ValueSets through to actually storing and retrieving the resources created for a patient. This is fine when the server is Grahames, as he aims to implement the entire specification (and generally succeeds!) but it’s a big ask for any server to do this.

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The clinFHIR Chat

One of the things we’ve found at the various connectathons we’ve held is that communication between the attendees can be an issue – there are quite a number of different ‘streams’ of activity and it can be hard to connect people with questions or comments, to people with answers.

We’ve used skype in the past, which has been OK, but has a number of limitations – it can be quite a firehose, which means that stuff is missed, there’s no easy to maintain a ‘thread’ of conversation (though sometimes interesting when threads get mixed together!) and hard to review the history at the end of the event. Oh – and there’s a fixed limit of 300 people per conversation, which we recently discovered.

So for the ‘Clinicians on FHIR’ event that we’re holding at the HL7 Working Group Meeting in October, we’re going to try a different approach. We’re developing a basic ‘chat’ application that is hierarchically organized, and also integrated with the tooling – clinFHIR – that participants in the event use. If all goes well, it’s also going to help in running ‘virtual’ events in the future, where people are not in the same place.

This post describes how the chat application is structured.

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Creating Lists in clinFHIR

As we’ve just discussed, clinFHIR allows you to quite easily create resources based on profiles (whether the ‘core’ resource profiles or simple ones created by clinFHIR) but what about more complex structures like Lists?

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Building resources from FHIR profiles.

This post finishes off our ‘mini-series’ on creating a simple profile using clinFHIR – now we’ll create a resource based on the profile that we created earlier.

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