Diagnostic imaging in FHIR

Few of us reach the age of 40 without having experienced one or more imaging procedure or scan. All of these can be captured in FHIR resources.

– X-rays
– MRIs
– CT Scans
– Ultrasounds
– Endoscopies

The FHIR documentation provides a brief outline of the resources typically used to capture these events and deliver the results back to a specialist or to a GP.

The order for the procedure or scan. Similar to a HL7 ORM message.

Captures DICOM information for each image taken and for the collection of images as a whole.

Findings made by the radiologist, surgeon or other practitioner on the images taken. Observations can reference other Observations via the ‘hasMember’ element creating a hierarchy of findings.

Individual images taken or used. Stored inline or by reference.

Details of any specimens taken during the procedure and sent to pathology.

The final report produced after the procedure or scan. This usually contains references to Observations, Media and Specimens.

A few words of caution when implementing this resource flow. The R5 resources used are slightly different to R4 — the DocumentReference resource replaces Media, and the DiagnosticReport resource correspondingly differs.

Don’t let this deter you from using Media, but it’s something to be aware of.

More about FHIR’s R4 diagnostic module.
The R5 module.



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