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Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources

It is important that healthcare information can be shared quickly. This makes sure that the right information is available about each patient, so that providers can make the right decisions. Data sharing goes across organisations, and now includes mobile and cloud-based applications. Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) is the global industry standard for passing healthcare data between systems. It is free, open, and designed to be quick to learn and implement.

FHIR are part of an international family of standards developed by Health Level-7 (HL7). The information models and APIs developed using this standard provide a means of sharing health and care information between providers and their systems no matter what setting care is delivered in.

What NHS Digital is doing with FHIR

NHS Digital makes extensive use of the HL7 FHIR standard. It does so across the different areas that FHIR supports, including:

  • FHIR ReSTful APIs
  • FHIR Documents
  • FHIR Messages

Products developed by NHS Digital make use of a consistent set of FHIR profiles.

A number of FHIR profiles and specifications have already been published.  These have been developed by working with healthcare providers, system vendors and standards bodies. 

Current specifications include Transfer of Care and CareConnect, with more in development.

FHIR reference server

NHS Digital publishes a variety of FHIR profiles for use across a range of local and national FHIR implementations. The profiles are published on one of two FHIR reference servers.

The HL7 UK FHIR Reference Server available at https://fhir.hl7.org.uk/ includes FHIR profiles that are designed to be used across the country.

The Reference Server at https://fhir.nhs.uk/ is where profiles that are used within NHS digital created solutions are published.

FHIR policy

NHS Digital has created a set of policies to be adhered to when creating FHIR based products. These policies can be found at FHIR Policy

Related pages

Last edited: 3 July 2019 2:01 pm