Categorizing multiple resources with a single queryable type


#1

I’ve been evaluating utilizing FHIR for our application which is a women’s health specific consumer application as well as health clinic. I’m trying to understand how I would fully utilize the resources for this application. For example one piece of data we use frequently is our patient’s current birth control method. From what I’ve read this could be one of many resources: a Device for an IUD, a MedicationStatment for birth control pills, or a Procedure for sterilization. I’m not sure how other methods like the Depo shot, or condoms/diaphragm would be categorized just yet. How with FHIR could I easily query the patients current birth control method without pulling and examining each of these resources?


#2

Observation is probably your best bet to answer the question “what is your current form of birth control?”. The details would be represented with those other resources.


#3

Thanks Lloyd. I think you’re right. Essentially we just have a birth control resource (which could be considered an observation) that has a foreign key relation to a medication statement for prescribed birth control.

After looking more into FHIR something Dr. David Hay said struck me and everything made sense. FHIR was and always will be meant as a data transport specification, not as a datastore although some people are using it that way. I was trying to force everything into a FHIR datastore, which while it makes organizational sense, is quite difficult to manage from the business logic side for specific applications without extensions (which I understand are first class, but require query resources to filter upon). So now we’re just modeling our tables around FHIR resources which gives us a bit more flexibility and developer clarity. It will also make it easier for us to develop FHIR standard CRUD APIs around our data.