In this module you will learn more about validating your work, publishing it, and creating Implementation Guides. We will use Simplifier, the leading HL7® FHIR® registry, to publish the profiles we build and its IG-editor to create Implementation Guides. You can sign up for a free Simplifier account. We will use Forge, the official HL7® FHIR® profile editor, to edit profiles. You can download Forge for free.
The topics covered in this module are:
After completing your FHIR profiles, the next step will probably be to make them available to the world. Publishing your profiles will enable, for instance, app developers to build on your work. Simplifier is a registry for all FHIR resources. It facilitates you in using FHIR more efficiently because of its ability to search and use previous work. Moreover, Simplifier can be used as a platform to work on your profiles with multiple developers and provide feedback on each other's profiles. To learn more about Simplifier, follow the Simplifier module.
Assuming you have used Forge to author your profiles it will be very easy to publish your work thanks to the integration of Forge with Simplifier. Besides Simplifier, Forge is able to publish to any FHIR server with the click of a button.
After finishing your profile in Forge go to
File at the top menu and click
Publish to Simplifier.net (or press Ctrl + U instead). In the following screen you will be asked to give your Simplifier.net credentials. Register for a free Simplifier account in case you did not do so earlier. Create a Simplifier project by going to your personal portal, opening the tab
Your projects and clicking on the button
Create a new project. You can of course also use one of your existing Simplifier projects. Go back to Forge, and after you provided your credentials in Forge, click
Connect and wait a second until the Status says
Passed. Now, you can select the Simplifier project in which you want to publish your profile. Click the save button to finish the upload. Forge returns to its editor screen and your profile is now online at Simplifier.
If your profile is truly ready for the world you can mark it as
Active on Simplifier. By default the profiles published from Forge will be marked as
draft. The next step will be to find your newly uploaded profile in your project at Simplifier. Go to your personal portal on Simplifier and select the project under
Your Projects. Click on your uploaded profile which can be found under the tab
Resources. In your profile page, click the
Status button in the top right of the page and select
Active. Your profile is online and marked as
Active at Simplifier.
The next step in publishing and sharing your work is to create an Implementation Guide (IG). An IG is a set of rules about how FHIR resources are used (or should be used) to solve a particular problem, with associated documentation to support and clarify the usage. An IG provides documentation about the package and the individual profiles targeting FHIR implementers and system integrators. You can find some examples on the HL7 FHIR website. More information can be found in the HL7 FHIR specification and in our blog posts: FHIR profiles and implementation guides and FHIR profiles and implementation guides (2)
When you start writing your IG you should keep in mind the audience you are writing it for. IGs are mostly written for developers, who can use it to implement your solution. Use language that developers understand, add examples to clarify what is expected from them and add information about how they can validate their implementation. Also consider if you want to write the IG in your native language, a common language like English or even in multiple languages. As most developers in the world will understand English, using English can make it easier to share and implement your solution across the boundaries of your country.
Next thing is to define the scope and format of your IG. IGs can be either written as documents (e.g. PDF) or webpages (e.g. a wiki page, a page on Simplifier or your own webpage). Given how convenient the FHIR specification is to read and link to, prefer webpages to documents when publishing.
The scope of your IG depends on the scope of your project. In general, we define the following scopes for IG’s:
|Strategy||A nationally scoped guide that provides a general overview and the strategic choices that are made. For example it describes the national infrastructure, security and privacy requirements. This guide will often reference more specific guides.||MedMij afsprakenstelsel, INTEROPen Care Connect API|
|Guiding principles||A guide that describes overarching guiding principles, such as regulations and basic components. This guide often serves as a foundation for future IGs.||US core IG, DE Core LeitfadenBasisDE|
|Subject||A guide that describes one subject. This guide describes multiple use cases and scenarios that are all related to this subject. For example, the subject could be medication or the IHE technical framework.||Lab results Norway|
|Use case||A guide describing a single use case and its interactions, data structures, vocabulary and testing. Examples of use cases are prescription or the IHE integration guide.||ZorgDomein FHIR interface|
The content of your IG depends on the scale and scope of the guide (from national to product), its intended audience and the background of your organization (e.g. are you part of a vendor or a standardization organization). In general, an IG should contain information about the use case, its actors and interactions, data definitions (e.g. your profiles) and a set of examples. You can find a template for an IG here: http://implementationguidetemplate.azurewebsites.net.
The following sections are relevant to include in your IG:
|About the IG||A general introduction|
|Use case(s)||Description of the use case(s):
|Technical implementation guidance||Section of the IG containing technical details:
|Profiles||Description of all profiles:
|Registry||Description of other FHIR artifacts that are used:
|Security||Details on security|
|Appendix||One or more appendices|
|Contact information||Relevant contact information|
General requirements for an implementation guide are:
You can write Implementation Guides using Simplifier, the HL7 FHIR IG Publisher, and other tools.
You can also use the HL7 FHIR IG Publisher - download it from the HL7 FHIR site. The FHIR IG Framework defines a standardized framework around the IG Publisher that simplifies and compartmentalizes the work of IG publication.
The IG Publisher is driven by the ImplementationGuide resource. The ImplementationGuide resource is a single resource that defines the logical content of the IG, along with the important entry pages into the publication, so that the logical package that the IG represents, so that the contents are computable. Forge has a feature for building the ImplementationGuide resource as well.
Both Forge and Simplifier are linked to the .NET API. In Forge, your work is automatically validated against the API while you're editing. After uploading your profile to Simplifier, you can validate it using the
Validate button in the top right menu of the
Resource page. You may also validate your examples against your profile using the same
Validate button, or just against the core specification. Another place were you can validate your XML or JSON code is the Validate tool: https://simplifier.net/validate.
The .NET GUI validator enables validation of FHIR XML or JSON against the specification (this includes custom profiles), supports terminology validation and serves both as a specification and a terminology server.
Here below are links to videos explaining how to use Simplifier and the .NET GUI validator for validation:
Below are examples of customers that we've helped to build their Implementation Guides.
HelseVest is one of four Norwegian health authorities, responsible for the western region of Norway. One of their projects is the Helsevest Prescription project, which aims to provide integrations for medication prescription.
The IG for this project was created using the IG-editor of Simplifier (see the example below). The scope of this IG is use case.
The home page of the IG contains a general introduction to the IG and a short description of the use case. The technical part of the IG is covered in the Package section. All profiles, extensions and value sets are listed in 3 separate sections of the IG. Each profile starts with a description of its metadata (canonical URL, publishing organization and status). A link to an example is also added here. Below is a description of the profile by using both tree and table rendering. Extensions and value sets are organized in a similar way. The examples section contains a link to the project on Simplifier, where examples can be found in the Resources tab. The Registry section lists all FHIR artefacts that are part of this project. Finally, the section on working with FHIR provides some help to those new to FHIR to get started.
Nictiz is the centre of expertise for standardization and eHealth in The Netherlands. HL7 Netherlands core and MedMij profiles are published on Simplifier. MedMij is a national project that aims to give Dutch citizens integrated access to all their health data in one personal health environment. FHIR is used as a standard to exchange health information between the involved parties. The profiles are based on standardized clinical building blocks called Health and Care Information Models (HCIM).
Nictiz uses wiki pages for creating IGs for this project. Below is an example of one of these IGs. The scope of this IG is guiding principles. The IG has several links to other IG's (e.g. the strategy scoped IG called 'Afsprakenstelsel' and subject or use case oriented IG's).
The IG starts with an 'About the IG' section explaining the scope, purpose, background of the project and intended audience. The functional design of the use cases is covered in a separate wiki page describing patient journeys, actors and activity diagrams. The technical part is organized in separate wiki pages per subject (e.g. Medication).
Each subject page describes the underlying use cases (e.g. 'Retrieve a medication overview'), actors, invocations, message content (containing links to the required profiles), interactions, operations and search parameters (including examples). Each Profile page provides general information of the profile (name, version, publication date, status and a short explanation), the concept it describes, its purpose and a description of its content. The content description provides a metadata table (formal URL, publisher, status and links to extension(s) and example(s)) followed by a tree rendering.
At the end of the page, there are contact details and links to the repository of MedMij FHIR artefacts at Simplifier, test tools and the FHIR specification.
In this exercise you will publish your work on Simplifier and write an Implementation Guide. Here below are a couple of links that you may find useful during this exercise:
Validatebutton in the top right corner of the Resource page.
Guidestab of your project and create a new Implementation Guide.
We are always looking for ways to improve our products. The Profiling Academy was built using our own IG-editor in Simplifier. If you have any feedback on this module or on our Profiling Academy in general, please leave a comment in the Issue Tracker of the project.
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