Do i need FHIR server? How should i set it up?

I’m new to FHIR.

We are a .net shop. Currently i have web APIs (RESTful) stands on a webserver and partnering applications send API request to get patient data and insurance data.
Now my partnering applications want us enable FHIR based APIs. I tried to read articles and tutorials, but still i feel i’m not getting the core.
I would like to know - Do i need to set up FHIR server as like webserver? If so, how should i accomplish that? How should the request URL be?

Please help me with your inputs.

If you currently have web APIs, then yes, your system would likely be a FHIR server. The first place to start is reading the FHIR specification, and in particular, the page dealing with FHIR RESTful interfaces. That will tell you what what the URLs should look like. There are also a whole bunch of existing test servers you can look at to get a sense of how other servers behave.

Thank you.

Then how should i set up the FHIR server in my MS environment? Do i need to have any specific application? Can this run in parallel to my WS?
Please help me with the inputs.

I recommend you take a look at the .NET FHIR server Vonk: Vonk is one of the FHIR reference servers. From the landing page you will find useful links, like documentation, deployment instructions, trial version, public endpoint etc. If you are a .NET shop you can extend the server with custom plugins.

On the other hand, if you’ve already got a data repository, you can also build a facade on top of that using a FHIR-compliant interface. (You could write from scratch or you could borrow pieces from one of the open-source implementations.)

Thank you all for the inputs and guidance.
I started doing mapping of my object with FHIR resources. I’m looking for resource that helps me capture employer funded insurance subscription details and send details about eligibility. Could you suggest me which resources can i look into.

Look at Coverage and CoverageEligibilityResponse

Thank you all for the swift response. It helps!

I have a question. I have to exchange all levels of Service Type from level-1 to level-4 of a visit, visit count, etc. Could you point me out the right object that i should use.

Thank you,

Can you expand on what “level 1” and “level 4” mean? Visit count in what context? With a particular provider? For a single patient/patient issue? Have you looked at Measure and MeasureReport?

My objective here is to understand the facility utilization. In a hospital setup, i have different facilities such as OP, IP, ER and this is my level-1. Through Outpatient, a patient takes service from Lab and Lab is my level-2 utilization and in that patient may take pathology lab services and is my level-3 and likewise.
At every point, the service provider details are recorded.
At the end of the day, i would need to report on utilization on different facilities used.

I need to exchange these data with my other health system. Need help to map these to FHIR objects.

Is your utilization just a count or a duration? If you do 3 different lab tests, is that 3 lab utilizations or 1 if they’re all tied to the same encounter?

hey, I know there are wonderful servers out there like HAPI that already have solutions, but would it be too hard to implement the standard myself if i’ve already got a web server, db, etc set up? I’m sure it’s got some complexity, but it’s mostly just a standard for a schema with suggestions for how to implement different operations and profiles, right? I’m just trying to understand what I’d be missing by not using a pre-done FHIR server like HAPI and how much work is involved.

You may want to look at leveraging one of the reference implementations for some of what you want to do rather than writing everything yourself, but not need to ditch your existing data store if you want to keep it. As a server, you need to:

  • be able to parse and serialize XML and JSON (and maybe RDF)
  • handle secure connections and probably OAuth
  • parse the various searches that come in and execute them appropriately
  • create Bundles and handle reference resolution
  • manage versioning
  • expose your CapabilityStatement

Exactly how much you need to do depends on what RESTful operations you want to support. (Note that the definitions in the FHIR spec aren’t ‘suggestions’. If you want to support ‘create’, you need to follow the spec if you want to claim conformance.)

ok this is great for me to consider. thanks a bunch Lloyd.