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Introduction

Philippine Core is provided to support the use of HL7® FHIR®© in a Philippine context. It sets the minimum expectations on FHIR resources to support conformance and implementation in systems. Philippine Core defines the Data model and RESTful API interactions that set minimum expectations for a system to record, update, search, and retrieve core digital health and administrative information.

Philippine Core uses Philippine Base representations as the basis for profiles that define the FHIR resources to be supported. The elements, extensions, vocabularies, and value sets that SHALL be present are identified, and their usage is defined. It also documents the minimum FHIR RESTful interactions for each resource type to access data. Philippine Core promotes interoperability and adoption through common implementation and should be built on top of standards development for specific use cases.

There are two different ways to implement Philippine Core:

  1. Profile Only Support: Systems support only the resources as profiled by Philippine Core to represent digital health information.
  2. Profile Support + Interaction Support: Systems support the resources as profiled by Philippine Core to represent digital health information (Profile Support) and the RESTful FHIR API interactions defined for it (Interaction Support).

In this regard, it is similar in nature to other national core specifications such as the AU Core FHIR Implementation Guide and international FHIR specifications such as the International Patient Access FHIR Implementation Guide.

1.2 Usage

Philippine Core is particularly useful in defining:

  1. A Testable Level of System Conformance: Philippine Core sets clear and measurable standards that systems must meet to be considered conformant. This ensures that any system claiming to comply with Philippine Core can be rigorously tested and validated against these standards, promoting reliability and consistency across implementations.

  2. Assumed Support by Client Applications: By adhering to Philippine Core, client applications can assume a baseline level of functionality and data representation. This means that developers can build applications with the confidence that essential capabilities and data structures will be uniformly supported across different systems.

  3. As the Basis of Downstream Implementation Guides: Philippine Core serves as a foundational framework upon which more specialized implementation guides can be built. These downstream guides can address specific use cases, sectors, or regions within the Philippines, all while maintaining compatibility with the core standards established by Philippine Core.

Assuming capabilities defined in Philippine Core are implemented allows specifications, applications, and business logic to be developed generally with confidence that systems can readily supply this capability. This fosters a robust ecosystem where interoperability and seamless data exchange are achievable goals, enhancing the overall efficiency and effectiveness of digital health solutions.

This document is a working specification that may be directly implemented by FHIR®© system producers. It provides a practical and actionable guide for developers and system integrators, ensuring that the core principles and standards of Philippine Core are embedded in their systems from the outset.

FHIR®© Connectathon Events: These events are key to the verification of the guide as being suitable for implementation. During connectathon events, developers and implementers come together to test and validate their systems against the Philippine Core specifications. These collaborative events are crucial for identifying potential issues, refining the standards, and ensuring that the implementation guide is practical and effective in real-world scenarios. This implementation guide will be used as the basis for Philippine connectathon events, driving continuous improvement and fostering a community of practice around FHIR®© standards in the Philippines.

1.3 PH CDI Core Actors

The following actors are part of the Philippine Core Implementation Guide (IG):

Philippine Core Requestor

An application that initiates a data access request to retrieve patient data. The Philippine Core Requestor is the client in a client-server interaction. The terms “requester,” “client,” and “app” are used interchangeably throughout this guide and are not meant to limit this actor to patient and provider apps. Payers and other users can use the same technology. Consider these terms as shorthand notation for a “user application.”

Philippine Core Responder

A system that responds to the data access request by providing patient data. The Philippine Core Responder is the server in a client-server interaction. The terms “server,” “Philippine Core FHIR server,” “FHIR server,” and “EHR” are used interchangeably throughout this guide and are not meant to limit this actor to electronic health record systems. Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), care coordination platforms, population health systems, etc., can use the same technology. Consider these terms as shorthand notation for an “interoperable healthcare platform.”

By defining these actors, Philippine Core ensures clear roles and responsibilities within the FHIR ecosystem, promoting a standardized approach to data exchange and system interactions across various healthcare and administrative systems. This standardization supports robust interoperability and seamless integration, enhancing the overall efficiency and effectiveness of digital health solutions in the Philippines.

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