Frequently Asked Question
Often we hear the terms "FHIR resource" and "FHIR profile" used interchangeably, however they each represent slightly different meanings.
HL7 FHIR makes a number of international resources available. These resources are sets of data that one would wish to see "travelling together" during the data exchanges between healthcare providers, to answer specific clinical needs. These resources are made so they can be used by "everyone" at international level, meaning that they often offer flexible cardinalities, with a lot of elements optional, elements that can be coded in several ways and/or value sets that are only exemplative. It is up to the user to decide how he/she will map his/her data model to the FHIR resource but also how he/she will use the basic "core" model offered by the HL7 FHIR resource.
The FHIR resource "customized" to his/her needs by the country/user is called a FHIR profile. So in Belgium a FHIR-BE profile will be made, based upon the corresponding existing FHIR international resource to carry each of the Belgian Care Set data set.
Several FHIR profiles can be made, based on an existing resource to fit specific needs. For example the resource Observation can be declined into a profile to register the patient weight, blood pressure, heart rate, ...
If no international HL7 FHIR resource exist that can be used as basis to exchange a specific Belgian Care Set, then a de novo BE-profile will be created for this Care Set, using the FHIR logic and basic elements.