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Substance FHIR Resource Proposal

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Owning committee name

Orders & Observations WG

Interested Work Groups

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

FHIR Resource Development Project Insight ID


Scope of coverage

DEFINITION (SUBSTANCE): Any material is a substance.

This resource will cover data elements, structures and relationships required to uniquely define and identify substances and specified substances within medicinal products or used for medicinal purposes, dietary supplements, food and feed additives, cosmetics, etc.

Substances come in a wide variety of physical forms and can pass through different states (ie. Gas, liquid, solid) while still retaining their physical composition and material characteristics.

Examples: Pharmaceutical substances, disposable supplies, durable equipment, implantable devices, food items, waste, traded goods

Scope Challenge: When to use substance vs medicine

RIM scope

    • Entity: Material (EntityClass="MAT")

Resource appropriateness

In healthcare, substances are used to treat patients, substances are analyzed for diagnostic, treatment, and research, subjects come in contact with certain substance thereby causing a need for healthcare, and so forth.

Expected implementations


Content sources

  • HL7 v3 Laboratory Standard - Normative
  • HL7 v3 IDMP Standard
  • HL7 v2.x

Resource Relationships

  • Order
  • OrderResponse ?
  • DiagnosticReport
  • ImagingStudy ?
  • Prescription
  • Supply


  • Vote by WG (Ready for ballot): July 2013
  • Ballot: September 2013

gForge Users

  • Lorraine Constable
  • Patrick Loyd