A patient makes a request for a copy of his records

Maybe there’s a courtcase pending. Maybe he’s after a second opinion.

He wants everything. How can FHIR help with this?

It’s a common request. It may come from the patient themselves. It may come from their lawyer or from another doctor on their behalf.

Sharing data like this is at the heart of what FHIR is for. The requesting system understands FHIR. The receiving system understands FHIR. The requester is authorised to make the request.

A FHIR servers handles this request by supporting the $everything command.

It looks like this: /Patient/7888067/$everything

The volume of resources built up around a patient can be huge. Even a single diagnosis followed by some tests and a procedure can lead to hundreds or thousands of linked resources.

Here’s the sample request for our patient “Edgar Allan Poe”:


The Patient record comes first, followed by linked resources such as Observation, Procedure, CarePlan, MedicationRequest, etc. There are 396 resources in total. A full Patient history from the hospital.

What gets returned is influenced by what the FHIR server supports, which resource types the requester specifies, and on any associated Implementation Guide.

Learn more about the $everything command here:




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