Policies for the use of HL7 FHIR standards in the NHS in England

The FHIR standards from HL7 provide a resource model to structure clinical information into internationally defined resources, which are extensible (through “profiles”) to allow for national and local constraints and additions. In addition, the FHIR standards define a ReSTful HTTP API for creating, searching, updating and deleting resources, as well as constructs to support the use of resources in messaging interfaces, and in clinical documents (akin to HL7v3 CDA).

The FHIR standards provide a fair amount of flexibility for implementers, and the policies outlined on this site define some additional constraints to ensure FHIR implementations defined and/or developed nationally are consistent, and adhere to general best-practice. These requirements may also be used more widely by external FHIR implementers to increase the chances of FHIR endpoints in the NHS being able to interoperate successfully.

These constraints are outlined across a number of sections:

Note: The keywords MUST, MAY, and SHOULD in this policy are to be interpreted as described in RFC2119.