Skip to main content

Understanding and Using Terminology in HL7 FHIR 11.12.2020

Faculty: Rob Hausam


  • Co-chair of Vocabulary and Orders and Observations WGs
  • FHIR specification and Terminology Module editor
  • Actively involved in HL7 and terminology standards/development and modeling for 18+ years
  • SNOMED on FHIR project co-lead

Course Description

Terminology is a required foundational component for interoperable data exchange in FHIR and other clinical data standards. This tutorial takes an in-depth look at the use of standard terminologies within FHIR artifacts (datatypes, resources, profiles, etc.). The structures and use of the primary FHIR terminology resources, operations and coded data types are covered, including how these terminology artifacts and capabilities are used in support of coded elements in other FHIR resources and profiles. The tutorial will also discuss how terminology content and capabilities are made accessible and useable within a FHIR terminology service. Live examples from FHIR terminology servers will be used where possible to examine and illustrate the concepts.

This Tutorial Will Benefit:
  • Standards developers, implementers, terminologists, data modelers and architects

Upon Completion of This Tutorial, Students Will Be Able To:
  • Describe how code systems, value sets and related vocabulary artifacts and principles are applied within the FHIR terminology resources and datatypes
  • Explain how the FHIR terminology resources and datatypes support the needs for coded data in other FHIR resources and profiles
  • Use the primary FHIR terminology resources, data types and operations for creating specifications and implementing solutions that interoperably represent and exchange coded data
  • Describe the typical capabilities and usage scenarios of a FHIR terminology service

Prerequisites:
  • Introduction to HL7 FHIR (or equivalent familiarity with the FHIR standard and concepts)
  • Introduction to Vocabulary in HL7
  • Basic familiarity with one or more standard healthcare terminologies or classifications (e.g., SNOMED CT, LOINC, ICD-10) and terminology artifacts (e.g., code system, value set, mapping)
  • FHIR for Specifiers (optional, but may be helpful)