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Person FHIR Resource Proposal

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Owning committee name

Patient Administration

Contributing or Reviewing Work Groups

  • or "None"

FHIR Resource Development Project Insight ID


Scope of coverage

A natural person has identity outside of a healthcare setting. The Person resource is used to capture this information and to relate the person as an individual to other resources that do have a health-related context.

De-normalized Data

Most of the properties of the Person resource are replicated within the other resources that they are shared with. This is intentional and highlights that the "disconnectedness" of the resources.

Not many systems actually implement a shared Person record, and as such the values DO become out of sync with each other. The inclusion of this resource does permit a capability for systems to identify other instances of this actual person's data via a centralized registry that can assist in keeping things up to date.

RIM scope

This Person Resource is not covered by the RIM directly.

Resource appropriateness

Expected implementations

  • Cross-Domain Patient Directory
  • Cross Domain Provider Directory
  • Client Portal

Content sources


Example Scenarios

Patient/RelatedPerson linkages:

  • In many systems an individual entered as a RelatedPerson entry is also linked to a Patient entry when entered.

This reduces the amount of data entry required for users, as it is known that this is the same individual.

Cross-Domain Patient Directory:

  • In a data sharing network, finding the location of patient records across different systems is a necessary pre-requisite for accessing external patient data. Using the link element, systems associate patient resources from different organizations. The assuranceLevel associated with the link provides a way for a system to qualify its confidence in the asserted link. For example, a relationship from the person to a patient using a probabilistic matching algorithm may be represented using a link with an assurance level of level1, while a relationship established using a government-issued photo ID may be created with an assurance level of level3.

Cross Domain Provider Directory:

  • Similarly, providers working in multiple healthcare service settings may be linked across different organizations using the link element. The various practitioner resources can be related using a common person resource with a link for each of the practitioner resources located in other organizations.

Client Portal:

  • In a client portal used by the consumers the Person record could be used to form a kind of "Account" within the system and links to all the other related systems where their data is stored/referenced.

Resource Relationships

The Person resource provides direct links to Patient, Practitioner, RelatedPerson, and Person (itself)

There are no links created that point towards the Person resource.


This resource has been worked on by the workgroup and reviewed in the for comment ballot just reconciled.

gForge Users

brianpos, ewoutkramer, grahameg