The tool (which we’ll refer to as ‘clinFHIR’) currently has 2 main components:
A resource builder that takes the definition of a resource (actually a profile, as we will see later) and allows the user to enter data using the resource definition to produce a real resource instance that is saved on the server.
A profile builder that allows a resource definition to be customized to a specific use case.
These are not intended to be comprehensive applications that cover all aspects of FHIR (there are other tools being built for that) – but enough to show how FHIR works to record clinical data.
clinFHIR is available at clinfhir.com (stands for clinical FHIR) so let’s take a quick look at it. The start page gives an overall description of the tool. There are 5 panes:
Top left gives an overview of the tool, and has links for the major components.
Bottom left has the disclaimers - things to watch out for.
Top right is ‘news’ – changes to the tool and other items of interest – for example notification that the underlying server will be refreshed and all data removed
Middle right is a ‘FHIR for newbies’ – why should you care
Bottom right contains links to other places of interest
There’s a header bar (navbar) across the top – to the right is a 'gear’ icon that has options that are useful within a particular part of the application (the actual contents will change depending on where you are). From the welcome page the options are:
Show resource builder
Show profile builder
Load support group
Clear local cache
The first 2 are self explanatory, and the 3rd option simply loads the Google support group (in a separate browser tab) but the last option is worth a quick explanation. As clinFHIR retrieves resources from the server (like profiles and valueSets) it stores them in the local browser cache so that next time it doesn’t need to go to the server to get them, which improves performance (it’s also why you may notice that a function is slow the first time and them speeds up). Periodically you can clear the cache to save space in the browser and also if it becomes ‘stale’ – which can sometimes happen when you’re updating profiles (more on that later). It’s quite safe to do as the app will refresh it automatically.
Lets start our quick look by going to the Resource builder (either by selecting it in the gear menu or clicking the link in the top left box). You’ll need to select a patient, against which the resources you create will be saved. For now, just click on one in the list. Here is the form where you can select the profile and enter the data to create and save a resource. There’s a tool bar across the top with a number of options which we’ll talk more about this in a later post – for now click on the gear icon and load the profile builder.
This is the page where profiles can be created. It’s similar to the Resource builder with a tool bar across the top - again, we’ll talk about this in a later post. Use the gear icon to return to the welcome screen.
That completes our whirlwind tour of clinFHIR. In the next post we’ll describe the Resource Builder in more detail – feel free to experiment, and to feed any comments, suggestions and bug reports back via…
Oh, and one last thing: we’re referring to the word ‘profile’ pretty loosely. Don’t worry about that for now – we’ll get a bit more specific when we dig into profiling on more depth.