Providing UI hints for FHIR queries

One of the requirements we were given when developing a patient based Observation query at Orion Health was that the response bundle needed to indicate that the user making the request was able to add new Observations for that patient. This was so that the User Interface (UI) could provide the appropriate link – or not, as the case may be.

Now this is a bit of a tricky one for a number of reasons.

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Transactions in DSTU-2

One of the many changes that occurred in DSTU-2 (at least in the candidate spec) was the way in which transactions are managed in REST. Not so much what a transaction is (that’s reasonably well defined) – but how it is implemented. For a start, a bundle (used for a number of purposes as well as a transaction) is now a resource in it’s own right (rather than an Atom feed).

But apart from this structural change, the transaction has become more closely aligned with the simpler REST interactions – it’s easier to see how a transaction can be thought of as a sequence of simple interactions that succeed or fail as a whole. Let’s start by taking a look at the Bundle from the perspective of Transactions, including some more tricky aspects to how IDs are managed when you want to create a resource that needs to be referenced by another within the same transaction.

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