FHIR Documents is it really useful?

I like the way FHIR resources can be built as documents with a composition and other information embedded in it. One of the benefit is that these documents can be exchanged between systems and persisted in document storage. Wouldn’t this tie to a newer communication data format which many industries have not yet acquitted to?

What do you feel?

This is probably a good bar conversation. In short, different FHIR paradigms (REST, messaging, documents, others) are useful in different situations. FHIR Documents might make good sense for things like discharge summaries and lab reports (which intrinsically tell a story, are frozen in time and authenticated). However, they’re not necessarily that great for a lot of other things. If you want a patient’s allergy list, having to package that up in a document adds unnecessary complexity and overhead.

In the CDA world, you had to use documents for everything. In the v2 world, you had to use messages for everything. In FHIR, we generally use REST for most things (loosest coupling, least negotiation = lowest cost/greatest interoperability), but fall back to documents, messaging or other architectural approaches when REST doesn’t really fit the bill and we need the capabilities the other paradigms offer.

I agree with Lloyd.
I would add a different perspective. There are Document Sharing infrastructure today, such as IHE defined XDS or XCA Profiles. These Document Sharing infrastructure can carry a FHIR Document just as well as they carry a CDA or PDF document. Thus there is no need for a different infrastructure to carry these FHIR Documents.
See https://healthcaresecprivacy.blogspot.com/2017/01/fhir-documents-in-xds.html

I see a different perspective of how these documents can be used. Thanks Lloyd and John for the responses.