Operation Outcome FHIR Resource Proposal

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Owning committee name

FHIR Core Team (eventually, InM)

Reviewing Work Groups


FHIR Resource Development Project Insight ID

None - FMG needs to do a PSS

Scope of coverage

Reflects both system level and business level issues (errors, warnings and information messages) resulting from some sort of system action on a FHIR resource or bundle of resources. Encompasses such concepts as:

  • user doesn't have permission
  • internal database error
  • drug dose out of bounds
  • duplicate record

Note: Instances of this resource may be transient or persisted.

RIM scope

  • AcknowledgementDetail (system issues)
  • Observation[classCode="ALRT" and moodCode="EVN"] (business issues)

Resource appropriateness

Base construct exists in most communication protocols that involve requesting an action. Healthcare introduces specific types of healthcare issues such as contraindications.

Simple error responses might *not* have an identifier because they are only relevant in the context of a particular request and there is no need to persist them. However, if there is a need to persist responses or if there's a need to track issues identified (and possibly managed) associated with a particular action, then they will be tracked and potentially queryable.

Expected implementations

Mandated as part of the response for "failure" when invoking REST operations. May also be part of response for messages

Content sources

  • v2 ERR segment
  • v3 AcknowledgementDetail in Transmission wrappers
  • v3 DetectedIssue CMET
  • SOAP?
  • NCPDP?
  • Others?


  1. RESTful query example reporting a database error with internal stack trace
  2. Reporting an oAuth authentication failure
  3. Reporting an un-managed drug-drug interaction

Resource Relationships

No relationships expected in core. Some order resources might have links to OperationOutcome to identify issues associated with the order. In extensions, an OperationOutcome might refer to resources relevant to the issue or even where the issue itself is defined.


Part of initial DSTU

gForge Users


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