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Part of Integration Patterns Book

Standardising transfer of health and social care data

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Current chapter – Standardising transfer of health and social care data

In the great majority of use cases where data is transferred between organisations in the healthcare ecosystem, the data entities forming this data will be clearly health related.

HL7 FHIR R4 has defined an international standard set of healthcare entities - Resourcelist - FHIR v4.0.1 ( In addition, a specialised set of these resources applicable to the UK healthcare context have been defined by HL7 UK called UK Core.

Therefore, where the data being transferred using the patterns and interactions methods described in this guide as clearly healthcare related, this data must be expressed using the HL7 FHIR R4 UK core data model.

FHIR data exchange paradigms

In addition to a standard data model, the HL7 FHIR standard also defines four standard ways in which these resources are exchanged  - known as 'exchange paradigms' - Exchange-module - FHIR v4.0.1 (

Aligning with the general preference for Synchronous interfaces which implement small atomic stateless requests, FHIR Rest is the preferred data exchange paradigm, and benefits from being a normative standard subject to little expected change.

To further aid the solution design process, this guide also provides simple pointers to enable the correct choice of FHIR exchange paradigm according to the type of pattern or interaction method chosen.

Last edited: 2 August 2021 1:55 pm