ePMA Implementation Guidance for FHIR STU3

This guidance is under active development by NHS Digital and content may be added or updated on a regular basis.
Please note: This guidance has been superseded by the Implementation guide for digitial medicines, which contains up-to-date information.

Specific FHIR data elements

There are a number of feasible application architectures that would support ePMA to Pharmacy interoperability, and wider interoperability with shared record platforms.

With regard to the use of the specific FHIR data elements, the architectures may change how and when the id, identifer and status elements are used.

Use of identifier

The identifier is the most important element of a FHIR resource for interoperability. It acts as the externally facing unique business identifier for the resource. A key phrase from the FHIR R4 standard is;

[for identifier] ...All resources that have an identifier element support searching by the identifier, so that records can be located by that method.

Use of id

By contrast, the resource id is normally an internally facing unique logical identifier. Within the FHIR R4 standard is the key phrase related to the logical id where it is:

[for id] ...assigned by the server responsible for storing it

Use of status

The different types of business status for MedicationRequest and MedicationDispense resources made visible within systems may change depending the interoperability architecture. Within some architectures, only valid end-states may be exposed, e.g. active MedicationRequests. Within other architectures, when systems query the system acting as the FHIR server, records or any state may be returned, including records that may be draft or other values that denote the business process has not yet completed.

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