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Specimen FHIR Resource Proposal

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Owning committee name

Orders & Observations WG

Interested Work Groups

  • Anatomic Pathology
  • Clinical Genomics
  • Imaging Integration
  • Public Health and Emergency Response

FHIR Resource Development Project Insight ID


Scope of coverage

DEFINITION (SPECIMEN): Any material sample taken from a biological entity, including a sample obtained from a living organism or taken from the biological object after halting of all its life functions. Biospecimen can contain one or more components including but not limited to cellular molecules, cells, tissues, organs, body fluids, embryos, and body excretory products (source: NCIt, modified).

The specimen resource covers substances used for diagnostic and environmental testing. This includes all types of living and non-living subjects where a subject is defined as the host from which the specimen was obtained.

RIM scope

  • Role: Specimen (RoleClass=SPM)
    • Entity (player): Material (EntityClass="MAT")
    • Entity (scoper): Choice - Person, Non-Human Living Subject, Material)
  • Entity: Place (EntityClass="PLC")

Resource appropriateness

Specimens are primarily of importance in healthcare for diagnostic testing and in public health for environmental testing. Because of the frequent biologic nature of specimens, they are uniquely identified. Additionally, specimens are tracked, transported, and stored, sometimes for years.

Expected implementations


Content sources

  • HL7 v3 Laboratory Standard - Normative
  • HL7 v2.x
  • HL7 OO Specimen DAM Project

Resource Relationships

  • Order
  • OrderResponse ?
  • DiagnosticReport
  • ImagingStudy ?


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