Relationship between FHIR and openEHR

I am new to openEHR ( and Health informatics in general ) space but find myself stuck with this question.

How do HL7 FHIR and openEHR relate ? I understand that HL7 v2 etc is basic messaging for interoperability. But FHIR seems to add some Clinical Data Modeling to this in the form of resources - A Visit with a Patient with an Observation is to my mind a Clinical Model no ? And when you add in a FHIR server concept are we not verging on the CDR ?

So then openEHR models the same Clinical concept through Archetypes, aggregated within a Template. - fantastic ( this I think I get and see where it fits in openEHR )

Next - where is the cross over in interoperability?

Is openEHR designed to - provide Archetypes as direct map to the model on the screen? My understanding is yes.( Datasource and UI interoperbility if you will )… i.e. (In its simplest form) - Client calls Server - Server runs AQL on the data and returns XML result, client runs XSL over that to generate HTML -

But isnt FHIR more about interoperability and openEHR about data modelling? - so now are we suggesting an openEHR server serves the result as an openEHR standard - and we try Map it to FHIR resources and serve it to the front end or any interoperable system.

Should we be looking at picking one and forgetting the other ?

There is a lot in this - but as I said I am very confused.



Yep, openEHR and FHIR can cooperate, see this blog post about it by Alastair Allen. I would also encourage you to read the excellent Thomas’ post about it

BTW, openEHR also defines a REST API and simplified formats that provide easy interoperability with little effort (as every known provider implements it)


You might also find this INTEROPen document helpful - it gives more a of a high-end view of the relationship.

I wouldn’t say that openEHR is intended to map data to the screen as such, more that it is designed to create and persist the data as it is acquired (perhaps via UI) , which tends to be considerably more complex than models of data for exchange.

And the answer is not that we should be picking one and forgetting the other. Both will be required for some time - FHIR to move data between disparate systems and proprietary data models, and openEHR to model, persist and query the data in tightly integrated platforms which share the same information model. I expect the latter to grow and the former to shrink.


Here is a resource that may be useful to help orient people coming from FHIR… in a fun way…