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LifeOmic FHIR Service FAQ

Why FHIR as a data-shape?

The Precision Health Cloud (PHC) leverages many data shapes that represent Electronic Health Records for individuals.

  • Clinical time-series data points - examples are diagnoses, blood pressure, heart-rate measurements, blood glucose, medications, scheduled visits, etc...
  • Genomic Variants, Gene expression, Proteomics, Pharmacogenetics - file formats such as VCF, BAM, CSV, TSV
  • Documents, Images, and Audio - file formats such as JPEG, PNG, DICOM, PDF, etc.

The choice of Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, (or FHIR), was for the following reasons:

  • Open Source - the modern generation health record standard from HL7
  • RESTful with support for GraphQL - These two aspects provide support for modern client applications on top of the platform.
  • Provides a standard for the exchange of resources
  • Industry supported from major institutions like Epic, Cerner, MirthConnect, Apple Health
  • Terminologies and Ontologies for medical classification codes for data

Does LifeOmic FHIR Service support Audit Trails?

Yes, LifeOmic FHIR Service supports Audit Trails for tracking changes made to FHIR resources. The Audit Trail is composed of FHIR Audit Event resources. Every time a FHIR resource is manipulated, LifeOmic FHIR Service produces an Audit Event. The Audit Event tracks who, what, when, where, and why the FHIR resource was changed.

What's a FHIR Audit Event?

A FHIR Audit Event is a standard FHIR resource used for tracking changes. Audit Event are immutable within LifeOmic FHIR Service, meaning they are read-only and cannot be edited or deleted.

How do I enabled Audit Trails?

Audit Trails are configurable at the project level. This allows project owners to enable Audit Trails only when necessary. Typically, Audit Trails are enabled for clinical projects where it is important to track changes made to clinical data for security and compliance purposes. Audit Trails are usually not enabled for research projects, since it is typically not important to know when data is manipulated.

What happens if I disable Audit Trails?

Once Audit Trails are disabled for a project, Audit Events will no longer be produced within the project. The existing Audit Trail is unaffected. Users will always be able to view Audit Events produced when the Audit Trail was enabled.

What happens to the Audit Trail if I delete a project?

Along with all the other project data, the FHIR Audit Event resources are also deleted, in affect deleting the project's Audit Trail.

How can I access FHIR Audit Events?

FHIR Audit Event resources are available via the LifeOmic FHIR Service APIs along with all other FHIR resources in the project.

Every FHIR Audit Event references the FHIR resource or resources which were manipulated. These referenced FHIR resources are versioned and stored in a cost efficient manner that provides high durability. As a side effect, read-times when accessing versioned FHIR resources is slower than accessing the current version of a FHIR resource.

See the LifeOmic FHIR Service Versioning for more information on accessing versioned FHIR resources through the FHIR API.


Last update: June 26, 2020