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5.3 Resource StructureDefinition - Content

FHIR Infrastructure Work GroupMaturity Level: 5 Trial UseCompartments: Not linked to any defined compartments

A definition of a FHIR structure. This resource is used to describe the underlying resources, data types defined in FHIR, and also for describing extensions and constraints on resources and data types.

The StructureDefinition resource describes a structure - a set of data element definitions, and their associated rules of usage. These structure definitions are used to describe both the content defined in the FHIR specification itself - Resources, data types, the underlying infrastructural types, and also are used to describe how these structures are used in implementations. This allows the definitions of the structures to be shared and published through repositories of structure definitions, compared with each other, and used as the basis for code, report and UI generation.

Note that as part of the specification itself, a full set of structure definitions for all resources and data types is published.

  • StructureDefinitions are used by CapabilityStatement instances for specifying how resources are used
  • StructureDefinitions use Value Sets to specify the content of coded elements
  • StructureDefinitions define concrete elements and structures for use with FHIR alone and that have defined wire representations (XML, JSON, etc.). This is distinct from DataElement which defines abstract elements that might appear anywhere - FHIR, questionnaire questions, CDA , HL7 v2 , X12, OpenEHR, a proprietary database, etc. Data elements may map to FHIR resources, data types and/or extensions but do not have any defined serialization format of their own.

Implementers should be familiar with the background and concepts described in Profiling FHIR before working with this resource.

The StructureDefinition resource has a set of metadata that is mostly shared with the Value Set, CapabilityStatement and other infrastructure resources. The metadata describes the structure, and helps find the structure when registered in profile repositories.

urlThe identifier that is used to identify this structure when it is referenced in a specification, model, design or an instance. This URL is where the structure can be accessed
identifierOther identifiers that are used to identify this structure
version

The identifier that is used to identify this version of the structure when it is referenced in a specification, model, design or instance. This is an arbitrary value managed by the structure author manually and the value should be a timestamp.

Note that there may be multiple resource versions of the structure that have this same identifier. The resource will have updates that create new versions for technical reasons, whereas the stated version number needs to be under the author's control

nameA free text natural language name identifying the structure
publisherDetails of the individual or organization who accepts responsibility for publishing the structure. This helps establish the "authority/credibility" of the structure.
telecomContact details to assist a user in finding and communicating with the publisher
descriptionA free text natural language description of the structure and its use
requirementsThe Scope and Usage that this structure was created to meet
codeA set of terms from external terminologies that may be used to assist with indexing and searching of profiles
statusThe status of the structure allows filtering of profiles that are appropriate for use vs. not. See the Status Codes
experimentalThis structure was authored for testing purposes (or education/evaluation/marketing), and is not intended for genuine usage
dateThe date this version of the structure was published
fhirVersionThe version of the FHIR specification on which this structure is based. It is not necessary to specify the version, as most profiles are valid across multiple versions, and the validity of a structure against a particular version of FHIR can easily be checked by tooling.
typeThe type the structure describes.
contextTypeFor extensions, the types of contexts in which the extension can be used (resources, datatypes, or extensions).
contextFor extensions, the specific types of resources or data types on which the extension can be used.

Notes:

  • The name of the structure is not required to be globally unique, but the name should have some scoping information (e.g. Acme Inc. (USA), Allergy List)
  • Multiple codes may be assigned to the structure. These may either describe the structure, the focus of the structure or both. They are solely to help find the structure by searching for structured concepts
  • The 3 status codes (draft, active, and retired) are the codes that are relevant to structure consumers. Authors may wish to use the authoring-status extension to track the life cycle of a structure as it is prepared

This resource is referenced by CapabilityStatement, ImplementationGuide, MessageDefinition and OperationDefinition

Structure

NameFlagsCard.TypeDescription & Constraintsdoco
.. StructureDefinition IDomainResourceStructural Definition
+ In any snapshot or differential, no label, code or requirements on the an element without a "." in the path (e.g. the first element)
+ Custom types can only be used in logical models
+ All element definitions must have unique ids (snapshot)
+ Context Invariants can only be used for extensions
+ All element definitions must have unique ids (diff)
+ element.base cannot appear if there is no base on the structure definition
+ If there's a type, its content must match the path name in the first element of a snapshot
+ All element definitions must have an id
+ Element paths must be unique unless the structure is a constraint
+ If the structure describes a base Resource or Type, the URL has to start with "http://hl7.org/fhir/StructureDefinition/" and the tail must match the id
+ A structure must have either a differential, or a snapshot (or both)
+ If the structure defines an extension then the structure must have context information
+ If the structure is not abstract, then there SHALL be a baseDefinition
Elements defined in Ancestors: id, meta, implicitRules, language, text, contained, extension, modifierExtension
... url Σ1..1uriLogical URI to reference this structure definition (globally unique)
... identifier Σ0..*IdentifierAdditional identifier for the structure definition
... version Σ0..1stringBusiness version of the structure definition
... name Σ1..1stringName for this structure definition (computer friendly)
... title Σ0..1stringName for this structure definition (human friendly)
... status ?!Σ1..1codedraft | active | retired | unknown
PublicationStatus (Required)
... experimental ?!Σ0..1booleanFor testing purposes, not real usage
... date Σ0..1dateTimeDate this was last changed
... publisher Σ0..1stringName of the publisher (organization or individual)
... contact Σ0..*ContactDetailContact details for the publisher
... description 0..1markdownNatural language description of the structure definition
... useContext Σ0..*UsageContextContext the content is intended to support
... jurisdiction Σ0..*CodeableConceptIntended jurisdiction for structure definition (if applicable)
Jurisdiction ValueSet (Extensible)
... purpose 0..1markdownWhy this structure definition is defined
... copyright 0..1markdownUse and/or publishing restrictions
... keyword Σ0..*CodingAssist with indexing and finding
Structure Definition Codes (Example)
... fhirVersion Σ0..1idFHIR Version this StructureDefinition targets
... mapping I0..*BackboneElementExternal specification that the content is mapped to
+ Must have at least a name or a uri (or both)
.... identity 1..1idInternal id when this mapping is used
.... uri I0..1uriIdentifies what this mapping refers to
.... name I0..1stringNames what this mapping refers to
.... comment 0..1stringVersions, Issues, Scope limitations etc.
... kind Σ1..1codeprimitive-type | complex-type | resource | logical
StructureDefinitionKind (Required)
... abstract Σ1..1booleanWhether the structure is abstract
... contextType ΣI0..1coderesource | datatype | extension
ExtensionContext (Required)
... context ΣI0..*stringWhere the extension can be used in instances
... contextInvariant ΣI0..*stringFHIRPath invariants - when the extension can be used
... type ΣI1..1codeType defined or constrained by this structure
FHIRDefinedType (Extensible)
... baseDefinition ΣI0..1uriDefinition that this type is constrained/specialized from
... derivation ΣI0..1codespecialization | constraint - How relates to base definition
TypeDerivationRule (Required)
... snapshot I0..1BackboneElementSnapshot view of the structure
+ The first element in a snapshot has no type
+ In any snapshot, all the elements must be in the specified type
+ Each element definition in a snapshot must have a formal definition and cardinalities
.... element I1..*ElementDefinitionDefinition of elements in the resource (if no StructureDefinition)
... differential I0..1BackboneElementDifferential view of the structure
+ If the first element in a differential has no "." in the path, it has no type
+ No slicing on the root element
+ In any differential, all the elements must be in the specified type
.... element 1..*ElementDefinitionDefinition of elements in the resource (if no StructureDefinition)

doco Documentation for this format

UML Diagram (Legend)

StructureDefinition (DomainResource)An absolute URI that is used to identify this structure definition when it is referenced in a specification, model, design or an instance. This SHALL be a URL, SHOULD be globally unique, and SHOULD be an address at which this structure definition is (or will be) published. The URL SHOULD include the major version of the structure definition. For more information see [Technical and Business Versions](resource.html#versions)url : uri [1..1]A formal identifier that is used to identify this structure definition when it is represented in other formats, or referenced in a specification, model, design or an instanceidentifier : Identifier [0..*]The identifier that is used to identify this version of the structure definition when it is referenced in a specification, model, design or instance. This is an arbitrary value managed by the structure definition author and is not expected to be globally unique. For example, it might be a timestamp (e.g. yyyymmdd) if a managed version is not available. There is also no expectation that versions can be placed in a lexicographical sequenceversion : string [0..1]A natural language name identifying the structure definition. This name should be usable as an identifier for the module by machine processing applications such as code generationname : string [1..1]A short, descriptive, user-friendly title for the structure definitiontitle : string [0..1]The status of this structure definition. Enables tracking the life-cycle of the content (this element modifies the meaning of other elements)status : code [1..1] The lifecycle status of a Value Set or Concept Map. (Strength=Required)PublicationStatus! A boolean value to indicate that this structure definition is authored for testing purposes (or education/evaluation/marketing), and is not intended to be used for genuine usage (this element modifies the meaning of other elements)experimental : boolean [0..1]The date (and optionally time) when the structure definition was published. The date must change if and when the business version changes and it must change if the status code changes. In addition, it should change when the substantive content of the structure definition changesdate : dateTime [0..1]The name of the individual or organization that published the structure definitionpublisher : string [0..1]Contact details to assist a user in finding and communicating with the publishercontact : ContactDetail [0..*]A free text natural language description of the structure definition from a consumer's perspectivedescription : markdown [0..1]The content was developed with a focus and intent of supporting the contexts that are listed. These terms may be used to assist with indexing and searching for appropriate structure definition instancesuseContext : UsageContext [0..*]A legal or geographic region in which the structure definition is intended to be usedjurisdiction : CodeableConcept [0..*] Countries and regions within which this artifact is targeted for use (Strength=Extensible)Jurisdiction ValueSet+ Explaination of why this structure definition is needed and why it has been designed as it haspurpose : markdown [0..1]A copyright statement relating to the structure definition and/or its contents. Copyright statements are generally legal restrictions on the use and publishing of the structure definitioncopyright : markdown [0..1]A set of key words or terms from external terminologies that may be used to assist with indexing and searching of templateskeyword : Coding [0..*] Codes for the meaning of the defined structure (SNOMED CT and LOINC codes, as an example). (Strength=Example)Structure Definition ?? The version of the FHIR specification on which this StructureDefinition is based - this is the formal version of the specification, without the revision number, e.g. [publication].[major].[minor], which is 3.0.0 for this versionfhirVersion : id [0..1]Defines the kind of structure that this definition is describingkind : code [1..1] Defines the type of structure that a definition is describing. (Strength=Required)StructureDefinitionKind! Whether structure this definition describes is abstract or not - that is, whether the structure is not intended to be instantiated. For Resources and Data types, abstract types will never be exchanged between systemsabstract : boolean [1..1]If this is an extension, Identifies the context within FHIR resources where the extension can be usedcontextType : code [0..1] How an extension context is interpreted. (Strength=Required)ExtensionContext! Identifies the types of resource or data type elements to which the extension can be appliedcontext : string [0..*]A set of rules as Fluent Invariants about when the extension can be used (e.g. co-occurrence variants for the extension)contextInvariant : string [0..*]The type this structure describes. If the derivation kind is 'specialization' then this is the master definition for a type, and there is always one of these (a data type, an extension, a resource, including abstract ones). Otherwise the structure definition is a constraint on the stated type (and in this case, the type cannot be an abstract type)type : code [1..1] Either a resource or a data type, including logical model types (Strength=Extensible)FHIRDefinedType+ An absolute URI that is the base structure from which this type is derived, either by specialization or constraintbaseDefinition : uri [0..1]How the type relates to the baseDefinitionderivation : code [0..1] How a type relates to its baseDefinition. (Strength=Required)TypeDerivationRule! MappingAn Internal id that is used to identify this mapping set when specific mappings are madeidentity : id [1..1]An absolute URI that identifies the specification that this mapping is expressed touri : uri [0..1]A name for the specification that is being mapped toname : string [0..1]Comments about this mapping, including version notes, issues, scope limitations, and other important notes for usagecomment : string [0..1]SnapshotCaptures constraints on each element within the resourceelement : ElementDefinition [1..*]DifferentialCaptures constraints on each element within the resourceelement : ElementDefinition [1..*]An external specification that the content is mapped tomapping[0..*]A snapshot view is expressed in a stand alone form that can be used and interpreted without considering the base StructureDefinitionsnapshot[0..1]A differential view is expressed relative to the base StructureDefinition - a statement of differences that it appliesdifferential[0..1]

XML Template

<StructureDefinition xmlns="http://hl7.org/fhir"> doco
 <!-- from Resource: id, meta, implicitRules, and language -->
 <!-- from DomainResource: text, contained, extension, and modifierExtension -->
 <url value="[uri]"/><!-- 1..1 Logical URI to reference this structure definition (globally unique) -->
 <identifier><!-- 0..* Identifier Additional identifier for the structure definition --></identifier>
 <version value="[string]"/><!-- 0..1 Business version of the structure definition -->
 <name value="[string]"/><!-- 1..1 Name for this structure definition (computer friendly) -->
 <title value="[string]"/><!-- 0..1 Name for this structure definition (human friendly) -->
 <status value="[code]"/><!-- 1..1 draft | active | retired | unknown -->
 <experimental value="[boolean]"/><!-- 0..1 For testing purposes, not real usage -->
 <date value="[dateTime]"/><!-- 0..1 Date this was last changed -->
 <publisher value="[string]"/><!-- 0..1 Name of the publisher (organization or individual) -->
 <contact><!-- 0..* ContactDetail Contact details for the publisher --></contact>
 <description value="[markdown]"/><!-- 0..1 Natural language description of the structure definition -->
 <useContext><!-- 0..* UsageContext Context the content is intended to support --></useContext>
 <jurisdiction><!-- 0..* CodeableConcept Intended jurisdiction for structure definition (if applicable) --></jurisdiction>
 <purpose value="[markdown]"/><!-- 0..1 Why this structure definition is defined -->
 <copyright value="[markdown]"/><!-- 0..1 Use and/or publishing restrictions -->
 <keyword><!-- 0..* Coding Assist with indexing and finding --></keyword>
 <fhirVersion value="[id]"/><!-- 0..1 FHIR Version this StructureDefinition targets -->
 <mapping>  <!-- 0..* External specification that the content is mapped to -->
  <identity value="[id]"/><!-- 1..1 Internal id when this mapping is used -->
  <uri value="[uri]"/><!-- ?? 0..1 Identifies what this mapping refers to -->
  <name value="[string]"/><!-- ?? 0..1 Names what this mapping refers to -->
  <comment value="[string]"/><!-- 0..1 Versions, Issues, Scope limitations etc. -->
 </mapping>
 <kind value="[code]"/><!-- 1..1 primitive-type | complex-type | resource | logical -->
 <abstract value="[boolean]"/><!-- 1..1 Whether the structure is abstract -->
 <contextType value="[code]"/><!-- ?? 0..1 resource | datatype | extension -->
 <context value="[string]"/><!-- ?? 0..* Where the extension can be used in instances -->
 <contextInvariant value="[string]"/><!-- ?? 0..* FHIRPath invariants - when the extension can be used -->
 <type value="[code]"/><!-- ?? 1..1 Type defined or constrained by this structure -->
 <baseDefinition value="[uri]"/><!-- ?? 0..1 Definition that this type is constrained/specialized from -->
 <derivation value="[code]"/><!-- ?? 0..1 specialization | constraint - How relates to base definition -->
 <snapshot>  <!-- ?? 0..1 Snapshot view of the structure -->
  <element><!-- ?? 1..* ElementDefinition Definition of elements in the resource (if no StructureDefinition) --></element>
 </snapshot>
 <differential>  <!-- ?? 0..1 Differential view of the structure -->
  <element><!-- 1..* ElementDefinition Definition of elements in the resource (if no StructureDefinition) --></element>
 </differential>
</StructureDefinition>

JSON Template

{doco
  "resourceType" : "StructureDefinition",
  // from Resource: id, meta, implicitRules, and language
  // from DomainResource: text, contained, extension, and modifierExtension
  "url" : "<uri>", // R!  Logical URI to reference this structure definition (globally unique)
  "identifier" : [{ Identifier }], // Additional identifier for the structure definition
  "version" : "<string>", // Business version of the structure definition
  "name" : "<string>", // R!  Name for this structure definition (computer friendly)
  "title" : "<string>", // Name for this structure definition (human friendly)
  "status" : "<code>", // R!  draft | active | retired | unknown
  "experimental" : <boolean>, // For testing purposes, not real usage
  "date" : "<dateTime>", // Date this was last changed
  "publisher" : "<string>", // Name of the publisher (organization or individual)
  "contact" : [{ ContactDetail }], // Contact details for the publisher
  "description" : "<markdown>", // Natural language description of the structure definition
  "useContext" : [{ UsageContext }], // Context the content is intended to support
  "jurisdiction" : [{ CodeableConcept }], // Intended jurisdiction for structure definition (if applicable)
  "purpose" : "<markdown>", // Why this structure definition is defined
  "copyright" : "<markdown>", // Use and/or publishing restrictions
  "keyword" : [{ Coding }], // Assist with indexing and finding
  "fhirVersion" : "<id>", // FHIR Version this StructureDefinition targets
  "mapping" : [{ // External specification that the content is mapped to
    "identity" : "<id>", // R!  Internal id when this mapping is used
    "uri" : "<uri>", // C? Identifies what this mapping refers to
    "name" : "<string>", // C? Names what this mapping refers to
    "comment" : "<string>" // Versions, Issues, Scope limitations etc.
  }],
  "kind" : "<code>", // R!  primitive-type | complex-type | resource | logical
  "abstract" : <boolean>, // R!  Whether the structure is abstract
  "contextType" : "<code>", // C? resource | datatype | extension
  "context" : ["<string>"], // C? Where the extension can be used in instances
  "contextInvariant" : ["<string>"], // C? FHIRPath invariants - when the extension can be used
  "type" : "<code>", // C? R!  Type defined or constrained by this structure
  "baseDefinition" : "<uri>", // C? Definition that this type is constrained/specialized from
  "derivation" : "<code>", // C? specialization | constraint - How relates to base definition
  "snapshot" : { // C? Snapshot view of the structure
    "element" : [{ ElementDefinition }] // C? R!  Definition of elements in the resource (if no StructureDefinition)
  },
  "differential" : { // C? Differential view of the structure
    "element" : [{ ElementDefinition }] // R!  Definition of elements in the resource (if no StructureDefinition)
  }
}

Turtle Template

@prefix fhir: <http://hl7.org/fhir/> .doco


[ a fhir:StructureDefinition;
  fhir:nodeRole fhir:treeRoot; # if this is the parser root

  # from Resource: .id, .meta, .implicitRules, and .language
  # from DomainResource: .text, .contained, .extension, and .modifierExtension
  fhir:StructureDefinition.url [ uri ]; # 1..1 Logical URI to reference this structure definition (globally unique)
  fhir:StructureDefinition.identifier [ Identifier ], ... ; # 0..* Additional identifier for the structure definition
  fhir:StructureDefinition.version [ string ]; # 0..1 Business version of the structure definition
  fhir:StructureDefinition.name [ string ]; # 1..1 Name for this structure definition (computer friendly)
  fhir:StructureDefinition.title [ string ]; # 0..1 Name for this structure definition (human friendly)
  fhir:StructureDefinition.status [ code ]; # 1..1 draft | active | retired | unknown
  fhir:StructureDefinition.experimental [ boolean ]; # 0..1 For testing purposes, not real usage
  fhir:StructureDefinition.date [ dateTime ]; # 0..1 Date this was last changed
  fhir:StructureDefinition.publisher [ string ]; # 0..1 Name of the publisher (organization or individual)
  fhir:StructureDefinition.contact [ ContactDetail ], ... ; # 0..* Contact details for the publisher
  fhir:StructureDefinition.description [ markdown ]; # 0..1 Natural language description of the structure definition
  fhir:StructureDefinition.useContext [ UsageContext ], ... ; # 0..* Context the content is intended to support
  fhir:StructureDefinition.jurisdiction [ CodeableConcept ], ... ; # 0..* Intended jurisdiction for structure definition (if applicable)
  fhir:StructureDefinition.purpose [ markdown ]; # 0..1 Why this structure definition is defined
  fhir:StructureDefinition.copyright [ markdown ]; # 0..1 Use and/or publishing restrictions
  fhir:StructureDefinition.keyword [ Coding ], ... ; # 0..* Assist with indexing and finding
  fhir:StructureDefinition.fhirVersion [ id ]; # 0..1 FHIR Version this StructureDefinition targets
  fhir:StructureDefinition.mapping [ # 0..* External specification that the content is mapped to
    fhir:StructureDefinition.mapping.identity [ id ]; # 1..1 Internal id when this mapping is used
    fhir:StructureDefinition.mapping.uri [ uri ]; # 0..1 Identifies what this mapping refers to
    fhir:StructureDefinition.mapping.name [ string ]; # 0..1 Names what this mapping refers to
    fhir:StructureDefinition.mapping.comment [ string ]; # 0..1 Versions, Issues, Scope limitations etc.
  ], ...;
  fhir:StructureDefinition.kind [ code ]; # 1..1 primitive-type | complex-type | resource | logical
  fhir:StructureDefinition.abstract [ boolean ]; # 1..1 Whether the structure is abstract
  fhir:StructureDefinition.contextType [ code ]; # 0..1 resource | datatype | extension
  fhir:StructureDefinition.context [ string ], ... ; # 0..* Where the extension can be used in instances
  fhir:StructureDefinition.contextInvariant [ string ], ... ; # 0..* FHIRPath invariants - when the extension can be used
  fhir:StructureDefinition.type [ code ]; # 1..1 Type defined or constrained by this structure
  fhir:StructureDefinition.baseDefinition [ uri ]; # 0..1 Definition that this type is constrained/specialized from
  fhir:StructureDefinition.derivation [ code ]; # 0..1 specialization | constraint - How relates to base definition
  fhir:StructureDefinition.snapshot [ # 0..1 Snapshot view of the structure
    fhir:StructureDefinition.snapshot.element [ ElementDefinition ], ... ; # 1..* Definition of elements in the resource (if no StructureDefinition)
  ];
  fhir:StructureDefinition.differential [ # 0..1 Differential view of the structure
    fhir:StructureDefinition.differential.element [ ElementDefinition ], ... ; # 1..* Definition of elements in the resource (if no StructureDefinition)
  ];
]

Changes since DSTU2

StructureDefinition
StructureDefinition Min Cardinality changed from 1 to 0
Max Cardinality changed from 1 to *
StructureDefinition.title Renamed from display to title
StructureDefinition.status Change value set from http://hl7.org/fhir/ValueSet/conformance-resource-status to http://hl7.org/fhir/ValueSet/publication-status
StructureDefinition.experimental Now marked as Modifier
StructureDefinition.contact Type changed from BackboneElement to ContactDetail
StructureDefinition.description Type changed from string to markdown
StructureDefinition.useContext Type changed from CodeableConcept to UsageContext
Remove Binding http://hl7.org/fhir/ValueSet/use-context (extensible)
StructureDefinition.jurisdiction added Element
StructureDefinition.purpose Renamed from requirements to purpose
Type changed from string to markdown
StructureDefinition.copyright Type changed from string to markdown
StructureDefinition.keyword Renamed from code to keyword
StructureDefinition.mapping.comment Renamed from comments to comment
StructureDefinition.contextInvariant added Element
StructureDefinition.type Renamed from constrainedType to type
Min Cardinality changed from 0 to 1
Change binding strength from required to extensible
StructureDefinition.baseDefinition Renamed from base to baseDefinition
StructureDefinition.derivation added Element
StructureDefinition.contact.name deleted
StructureDefinition.contact.telecom deleted

See the Full Difference for further information

See R2 <--> R3 Conversion Maps (status = 248 tests that all execute ok. 60 fail round-trip testing and 145 r3 resources are invalid (441 errors).).

Structure

NameFlagsCard.TypeDescription & Constraintsdoco
.. StructureDefinition IDomainResourceStructural Definition
+ In any snapshot or differential, no label, code or requirements on the an element without a "." in the path (e.g. the first element)
+ Custom types can only be used in logical models
+ All element definitions must have unique ids (snapshot)
+ Context Invariants can only be used for extensions
+ All element definitions must have unique ids (diff)
+ element.base cannot appear if there is no base on the structure definition
+ If there's a type, its content must match the path name in the first element of a snapshot
+ All element definitions must have an id
+ Element paths must be unique unless the structure is a constraint
+ If the structure describes a base Resource or Type, the URL has to start with "http://hl7.org/fhir/StructureDefinition/" and the tail must match the id
+ A structure must have either a differential, or a snapshot (or both)
+ If the structure defines an extension then the structure must have context information
+ If the structure is not abstract, then there SHALL be a baseDefinition
Elements defined in Ancestors: id, meta, implicitRules, language, text, contained, extension, modifierExtension
... url Σ1..1uriLogical URI to reference this structure definition (globally unique)
... identifier Σ0..*IdentifierAdditional identifier for the structure definition
... version Σ0..1stringBusiness version of the structure definition
... name Σ1..1stringName for this structure definition (computer friendly)
... title Σ0..1stringName for this structure definition (human friendly)
... status ?!Σ1..1codedraft | active | retired | unknown
PublicationStatus (Required)
... experimental ?!Σ0..1booleanFor testing purposes, not real usage
... date Σ0..1dateTimeDate this was last changed
... publisher Σ0..1stringName of the publisher (organization or individual)
... contact Σ0..*ContactDetailContact details for the publisher
... description 0..1markdownNatural language description of the structure definition
... useContext Σ0..*UsageContextContext the content is intended to support
... jurisdiction Σ0..*CodeableConceptIntended jurisdiction for structure definition (if applicable)
Jurisdiction ValueSet (Extensible)
... purpose 0..1markdownWhy this structure definition is defined
... copyright 0..1markdownUse and/or publishing restrictions
... keyword Σ0..*CodingAssist with indexing and finding
Structure Definition Codes (Example)
... fhirVersion Σ0..1idFHIR Version this StructureDefinition targets
... mapping I0..*BackboneElementExternal specification that the content is mapped to
+ Must have at least a name or a uri (or both)
.... identity 1..1idInternal id when this mapping is used
.... uri I0..1uriIdentifies what this mapping refers to
.... name I0..1stringNames what this mapping refers to
.... comment 0..1stringVersions, Issues, Scope limitations etc.
... kind Σ1..1codeprimitive-type | complex-type | resource | logical
StructureDefinitionKind (Required)
... abstract Σ1..1booleanWhether the structure is abstract
... contextType ΣI0..1coderesource | datatype | extension
ExtensionContext (Required)
... context ΣI0..*stringWhere the extension can be used in instances
... contextInvariant ΣI0..*stringFHIRPath invariants - when the extension can be used
... type ΣI1..1codeType defined or constrained by this structure
FHIRDefinedType (Extensible)
... baseDefinition ΣI0..1uriDefinition that this type is constrained/specialized from
... derivation ΣI0..1codespecialization | constraint - How relates to base definition
TypeDerivationRule (Required)
... snapshot I0..1BackboneElementSnapshot view of the structure
+ The first element in a snapshot has no type
+ In any snapshot, all the elements must be in the specified type
+ Each element definition in a snapshot must have a formal definition and cardinalities
.... element I1..*ElementDefinitionDefinition of elements in the resource (if no StructureDefinition)
... differential I0..1BackboneElementDifferential view of the structure
+ If the first element in a differential has no "." in the path, it has no type
+ No slicing on the root element
+ In any differential, all the elements must be in the specified type
.... element 1..*ElementDefinitionDefinition of elements in the resource (if no StructureDefinition)

doco Documentation for this format

UML Diagram (Legend)

StructureDefinition (DomainResource)An absolute URI that is used to identify this structure definition when it is referenced in a specification, model, design or an instance. This SHALL be a URL, SHOULD be globally unique, and SHOULD be an address at which this structure definition is (or will be) published. The URL SHOULD include the major version of the structure definition. For more information see [Technical and Business Versions](resource.html#versions)url : uri [1..1]A formal identifier that is used to identify this structure definition when it is represented in other formats, or referenced in a specification, model, design or an instanceidentifier : Identifier [0..*]The identifier that is used to identify this version of the structure definition when it is referenced in a specification, model, design or instance. This is an arbitrary value managed by the structure definition author and is not expected to be globally unique. For example, it might be a timestamp (e.g. yyyymmdd) if a managed version is not available. There is also no expectation that versions can be placed in a lexicographical sequenceversion : string [0..1]A natural language name identifying the structure definition. This name should be usable as an identifier for the module by machine processing applications such as code generationname : string [1..1]A short, descriptive, user-friendly title for the structure definitiontitle : string [0..1]The status of this structure definition. Enables tracking the life-cycle of the content (this element modifies the meaning of other elements)status : code [1..1] The lifecycle status of a Value Set or Concept Map. (Strength=Required)PublicationStatus! A boolean value to indicate that this structure definition is authored for testing purposes (or education/evaluation/marketing), and is not intended to be used for genuine usage (this element modifies the meaning of other elements)experimental : boolean [0..1]The date (and optionally time) when the structure definition was published. The date must change if and when the business version changes and it must change if the status code changes. In addition, it should change when the substantive content of the structure definition changesdate : dateTime [0..1]The name of the individual or organization that published the structure definitionpublisher : string [0..1]Contact details to assist a user in finding and communicating with the publishercontact : ContactDetail [0..*]A free text natural language description of the structure definition from a consumer's perspectivedescription : markdown [0..1]The content was developed with a focus and intent of supporting the contexts that are listed. These terms may be used to assist with indexing and searching for appropriate structure definition instancesuseContext : UsageContext [0..*]A legal or geographic region in which the structure definition is intended to be usedjurisdiction : CodeableConcept [0..*] Countries and regions within which this artifact is targeted for use (Strength=Extensible)Jurisdiction ValueSet+ Explaination of why this structure definition is needed and why it has been designed as it haspurpose : markdown [0..1]A copyright statement relating to the structure definition and/or its contents. Copyright statements are generally legal restrictions on the use and publishing of the structure definitioncopyright : markdown [0..1]A set of key words or terms from external terminologies that may be used to assist with indexing and searching of templateskeyword : Coding [0..*] Codes for the meaning of the defined structure (SNOMED CT and LOINC codes, as an example). (Strength=Example)Structure Definition ?? The version of the FHIR specification on which this StructureDefinition is based - this is the formal version of the specification, without the revision number, e.g. [publication].[major].[minor], which is 3.0.0 for this versionfhirVersion : id [0..1]Defines the kind of structure that this definition is describingkind : code [1..1] Defines the type of structure that a definition is describing. (Strength=Required)StructureDefinitionKind! Whether structure this definition describes is abstract or not - that is, whether the structure is not intended to be instantiated. For Resources and Data types, abstract types will never be exchanged between systemsabstract : boolean [1..1]If this is an extension, Identifies the context within FHIR resources where the extension can be usedcontextType : code [0..1] How an extension context is interpreted. (Strength=Required)ExtensionContext! Identifies the types of resource or data type elements to which the extension can be appliedcontext : string [0..*]A set of rules as Fluent Invariants about when the extension can be used (e.g. co-occurrence variants for the extension)contextInvariant : string [0..*]The type this structure describes. If the derivation kind is 'specialization' then this is the master definition for a type, and there is always one of these (a data type, an extension, a resource, including abstract ones). Otherwise the structure definition is a constraint on the stated type (and in this case, the type cannot be an abstract type)type : code [1..1] Either a resource or a data type, including logical model types (Strength=Extensible)FHIRDefinedType+ An absolute URI that is the base structure from which this type is derived, either by specialization or constraintbaseDefinition : uri [0..1]How the type relates to the baseDefinitionderivation : code [0..1] How a type relates to its baseDefinition. (Strength=Required)TypeDerivationRule! MappingAn Internal id that is used to identify this mapping set when specific mappings are madeidentity : id [1..1]An absolute URI that identifies the specification that this mapping is expressed touri : uri [0..1]A name for the specification that is being mapped toname : string [0..1]Comments about this mapping, including version notes, issues, scope limitations, and other important notes for usagecomment : string [0..1]SnapshotCaptures constraints on each element within the resourceelement : ElementDefinition [1..*]DifferentialCaptures constraints on each element within the resourceelement : ElementDefinition [1..*]An external specification that the content is mapped tomapping[0..*]A snapshot view is expressed in a stand alone form that can be used and interpreted without considering the base StructureDefinitionsnapshot[0..1]A differential view is expressed relative to the base StructureDefinition - a statement of differences that it appliesdifferential[0..1]

XML Template

<StructureDefinition xmlns="http://hl7.org/fhir"> doco
 <!-- from Resource: id, meta, implicitRules, and language -->
 <!-- from DomainResource: text, contained, extension, and modifierExtension -->
 <url value="[uri]"/><!-- 1..1 Logical URI to reference this structure definition (globally unique) -->
 <identifier><!-- 0..* Identifier Additional identifier for the structure definition --></identifier>
 <version value="[string]"/><!-- 0..1 Business version of the structure definition -->
 <name value="[string]"/><!-- 1..1 Name for this structure definition (computer friendly) -->
 <title value="[string]"/><!-- 0..1 Name for this structure definition (human friendly) -->
 <status value="[code]"/><!-- 1..1 draft | active | retired | unknown -->
 <experimental value="[boolean]"/><!-- 0..1 For testing purposes, not real usage -->
 <date value="[dateTime]"/><!-- 0..1 Date this was last changed -->
 <publisher value="[string]"/><!-- 0..1 Name of the publisher (organization or individual) -->
 <contact><!-- 0..* ContactDetail Contact details for the publisher --></contact>
 <description value="[markdown]"/><!-- 0..1 Natural language description of the structure definition -->
 <useContext><!-- 0..* UsageContext Context the content is intended to support --></useContext>
 <jurisdiction><!-- 0..* CodeableConcept Intended jurisdiction for structure definition (if applicable) --></jurisdiction>
 <purpose value="[markdown]"/><!-- 0..1 Why this structure definition is defined -->
 <copyright value="[markdown]"/><!-- 0..1 Use and/or publishing restrictions -->
 <keyword><!-- 0..* Coding Assist with indexing and finding --></keyword>
 <fhirVersion value="[id]"/><!-- 0..1 FHIR Version this StructureDefinition targets -->
 <mapping>  <!-- 0..* External specification that the content is mapped to -->
  <identity value="[id]"/><!-- 1..1 Internal id when this mapping is used -->
  <uri value="[uri]"/><!-- ?? 0..1 Identifies what this mapping refers to -->
  <name value="[string]"/><!-- ?? 0..1 Names what this mapping refers to -->
  <comment value="[string]"/><!-- 0..1 Versions, Issues, Scope limitations etc. -->
 </mapping>
 <kind value="[code]"/><!-- 1..1 primitive-type | complex-type | resource | logical -->
 <abstract value="[boolean]"/><!-- 1..1 Whether the structure is abstract -->
 <contextType value="[code]"/><!-- ?? 0..1 resource | datatype | extension -->
 <context value="[string]"/><!-- ?? 0..* Where the extension can be used in instances -->
 <contextInvariant value="[string]"/><!-- ?? 0..* FHIRPath invariants - when the extension can be used -->
 <type value="[code]"/><!-- ?? 1..1 Type defined or constrained by this structure -->
 <baseDefinition value="[uri]"/><!-- ?? 0..1 Definition that this type is constrained/specialized from -->
 <derivation value="[code]"/><!-- ?? 0..1 specialization | constraint - How relates to base definition -->
 <snapshot>  <!-- ?? 0..1 Snapshot view of the structure -->
  <element><!-- ?? 1..* ElementDefinition Definition of elements in the resource (if no StructureDefinition) --></element>
 </snapshot>
 <differential>  <!-- ?? 0..1 Differential view of the structure -->
  <element><!-- 1..* ElementDefinition Definition of elements in the resource (if no StructureDefinition) --></element>
 </differential>
</StructureDefinition>

JSON Template

{doco
  "resourceType" : "StructureDefinition",
  // from Resource: id, meta, implicitRules, and language
  // from DomainResource: text, contained, extension, and modifierExtension
  "url" : "<uri>", // R!  Logical URI to reference this structure definition (globally unique)
  "identifier" : [{ Identifier }], // Additional identifier for the structure definition
  "version" : "<string>", // Business version of the structure definition
  "name" : "<string>", // R!  Name for this structure definition (computer friendly)
  "title" : "<string>", // Name for this structure definition (human friendly)
  "status" : "<code>", // R!  draft | active | retired | unknown
  "experimental" : <boolean>, // For testing purposes, not real usage
  "date" : "<dateTime>", // Date this was last changed
  "publisher" : "<string>", // Name of the publisher (organization or individual)
  "contact" : [{ ContactDetail }], // Contact details for the publisher
  "description" : "<markdown>", // Natural language description of the structure definition
  "useContext" : [{ UsageContext }], // Context the content is intended to support
  "jurisdiction" : [{ CodeableConcept }], // Intended jurisdiction for structure definition (if applicable)
  "purpose" : "<markdown>", // Why this structure definition is defined
  "copyright" : "<markdown>", // Use and/or publishing restrictions
  "keyword" : [{ Coding }], // Assist with indexing and finding
  "fhirVersion" : "<id>", // FHIR Version this StructureDefinition targets
  "mapping" : [{ // External specification that the content is mapped to
    "identity" : "<id>", // R!  Internal id when this mapping is used
    "uri" : "<uri>", // C? Identifies what this mapping refers to
    "name" : "<string>", // C? Names what this mapping refers to
    "comment" : "<string>" // Versions, Issues, Scope limitations etc.
  }],
  "kind" : "<code>", // R!  primitive-type | complex-type | resource | logical
  "abstract" : <boolean>, // R!  Whether the structure is abstract
  "contextType" : "<code>", // C? resource | datatype | extension
  "context" : ["<string>"], // C? Where the extension can be used in instances
  "contextInvariant" : ["<string>"], // C? FHIRPath invariants - when the extension can be used
  "type" : "<code>", // C? R!  Type defined or constrained by this structure
  "baseDefinition" : "<uri>", // C? Definition that this type is constrained/specialized from
  "derivation" : "<code>", // C? specialization | constraint - How relates to base definition
  "snapshot" : { // C? Snapshot view of the structure
    "element" : [{ ElementDefinition }] // C? R!  Definition of elements in the resource (if no StructureDefinition)
  },
  "differential" : { // C? Differential view of the structure
    "element" : [{ ElementDefinition }] // R!  Definition of elements in the resource (if no StructureDefinition)
  }
}

Turtle Template

@prefix fhir: <http://hl7.org/fhir/> .doco


[ a fhir:StructureDefinition;
  fhir:nodeRole fhir:treeRoot; # if this is the parser root

  # from Resource: .id, .meta, .implicitRules, and .language
  # from DomainResource: .text, .contained, .extension, and .modifierExtension
  fhir:StructureDefinition.url [ uri ]; # 1..1 Logical URI to reference this structure definition (globally unique)
  fhir:StructureDefinition.identifier [ Identifier ], ... ; # 0..* Additional identifier for the structure definition
  fhir:StructureDefinition.version [ string ]; # 0..1 Business version of the structure definition
  fhir:StructureDefinition.name [ string ]; # 1..1 Name for this structure definition (computer friendly)
  fhir:StructureDefinition.title [ string ]; # 0..1 Name for this structure definition (human friendly)
  fhir:StructureDefinition.status [ code ]; # 1..1 draft | active | retired | unknown
  fhir:StructureDefinition.experimental [ boolean ]; # 0..1 For testing purposes, not real usage
  fhir:StructureDefinition.date [ dateTime ]; # 0..1 Date this was last changed
  fhir:StructureDefinition.publisher [ string ]; # 0..1 Name of the publisher (organization or individual)
  fhir:StructureDefinition.contact [ ContactDetail ], ... ; # 0..* Contact details for the publisher
  fhir:StructureDefinition.description [ markdown ]; # 0..1 Natural language description of the structure definition
  fhir:StructureDefinition.useContext [ UsageContext ], ... ; # 0..* Context the content is intended to support
  fhir:StructureDefinition.jurisdiction [ CodeableConcept ], ... ; # 0..* Intended jurisdiction for structure definition (if applicable)
  fhir:StructureDefinition.purpose [ markdown ]; # 0..1 Why this structure definition is defined
  fhir:StructureDefinition.copyright [ markdown ]; # 0..1 Use and/or publishing restrictions
  fhir:StructureDefinition.keyword [ Coding ], ... ; # 0..* Assist with indexing and finding
  fhir:StructureDefinition.fhirVersion [ id ]; # 0..1 FHIR Version this StructureDefinition targets
  fhir:StructureDefinition.mapping [ # 0..* External specification that the content is mapped to
    fhir:StructureDefinition.mapping.identity [ id ]; # 1..1 Internal id when this mapping is used
    fhir:StructureDefinition.mapping.uri [ uri ]; # 0..1 Identifies what this mapping refers to
    fhir:StructureDefinition.mapping.name [ string ]; # 0..1 Names what this mapping refers to
    fhir:StructureDefinition.mapping.comment [ string ]; # 0..1 Versions, Issues, Scope limitations etc.
  ], ...;
  fhir:StructureDefinition.kind [ code ]; # 1..1 primitive-type | complex-type | resource | logical
  fhir:StructureDefinition.abstract [ boolean ]; # 1..1 Whether the structure is abstract
  fhir:StructureDefinition.contextType [ code ]; # 0..1 resource | datatype | extension
  fhir:StructureDefinition.context [ string ], ... ; # 0..* Where the extension can be used in instances
  fhir:StructureDefinition.contextInvariant [ string ], ... ; # 0..* FHIRPath invariants - when the extension can be used
  fhir:StructureDefinition.type [ code ]; # 1..1 Type defined or constrained by this structure
  fhir:StructureDefinition.baseDefinition [ uri ]; # 0..1 Definition that this type is constrained/specialized from
  fhir:StructureDefinition.derivation [ code ]; # 0..1 specialization | constraint - How relates to base definition
  fhir:StructureDefinition.snapshot [ # 0..1 Snapshot view of the structure
    fhir:StructureDefinition.snapshot.element [ ElementDefinition ], ... ; # 1..* Definition of elements in the resource (if no StructureDefinition)
  ];
  fhir:StructureDefinition.differential [ # 0..1 Differential view of the structure
    fhir:StructureDefinition.differential.element [ ElementDefinition ], ... ; # 1..* Definition of elements in the resource (if no StructureDefinition)
  ];
]

Changes since DSTU2

StructureDefinition
StructureDefinition Min Cardinality changed from 1 to 0
Max Cardinality changed from 1 to *
StructureDefinition.title Renamed from display to title
StructureDefinition.status Change value set from http://hl7.org/fhir/ValueSet/conformance-resource-status to http://hl7.org/fhir/ValueSet/publication-status
StructureDefinition.experimental Now marked as Modifier
StructureDefinition.contact Type changed from BackboneElement to ContactDetail
StructureDefinition.description Type changed from string to markdown
StructureDefinition.useContext Type changed from CodeableConcept to UsageContext
Remove Binding http://hl7.org/fhir/ValueSet/use-context (extensible)
StructureDefinition.jurisdiction added Element
StructureDefinition.purpose Renamed from requirements to purpose
Type changed from string to markdown
StructureDefinition.copyright Type changed from string to markdown
StructureDefinition.keyword Renamed from code to keyword
StructureDefinition.mapping.comment Renamed from comments to comment
StructureDefinition.contextInvariant added Element
StructureDefinition.type Renamed from constrainedType to type
Min Cardinality changed from 0 to 1
Change binding strength from required to extensible
StructureDefinition.baseDefinition Renamed from base to baseDefinition
StructureDefinition.derivation added Element
StructureDefinition.contact.name deleted
StructureDefinition.contact.telecom deleted

See the Full Difference for further information

See R2 <--> R3 Conversion Maps (status = 248 tests that all execute ok. 60 fail round-trip testing and 145 r3 resources are invalid (441 errors).).

 

Alternate definitions: Master Definition (XML, JSON), XML Schema/Schematron (for ) + JSON Schema, ShEx (for Turtle)

PathDefinitionTypeReference
StructureDefinition.status The lifecycle status of a Value Set or Concept Map.RequiredPublicationStatus
StructureDefinition.jurisdiction Countries and regions within which this artifact is targeted for useExtensibleJurisdiction ValueSet
StructureDefinition.keyword Codes for the meaning of the defined structure (SNOMED CT and LOINC codes, as an example).ExampleStructure Definition Codes
StructureDefinition.kind Defines the type of structure that a definition is describing.RequiredStructureDefinitionKind
StructureDefinition.contextType How an extension context is interpreted.RequiredExtensionContext
StructureDefinition.type Either a resource or a data type, including logical model typesExtensibleFHIRDefinedType
StructureDefinition.derivation How a type relates to its baseDefinition.RequiredTypeDerivationRule

  • sdf-1: Element paths must be unique unless the structure is a constraint (expression : derivation = 'constraint' or snapshot.element.select(path).isDistinct())
  • sdf-11: If there's a type, its content must match the path name in the first element of a snapshot (expression : snapshot.empty() or snapshot.element.first().path = type)
  • sdf-12: element.base cannot appear if there is no base on the structure definition (expression : snapshot.exists() implies (snapshot.element.base.exists() = baseDefinition.exists()))
  • sdf-14: All element definitions must have an id (expression : snapshot.element.all(id.exists()) and differential.element.all(id.exists()))
  • sdf-15: On StructureDefinition.snapshot: The first element in a snapshot has no type (expression on StructureDefinition.snapshot: element.first().type.empty())
  • sdf-15a: On StructureDefinition.differential: If the first element in a differential has no "." in the path, it has no type (expression on StructureDefinition.differential: element.first().path.contains('.').not() implies element.first().type.empty())
  • sdf-16: All element definitions must have unique ids (snapshot) (expression : snapshot.element.id.trace('ids').isDistinct())
  • sdf-17: All element definitions must have unique ids (diff) (expression : differential.element.id.trace('ids').isDistinct())
  • sdf-18: Context Invariants can only be used for extensions (expression : contextInvariant.exists() implies type = 'Extension')
  • sdf-19: Custom types can only be used in logical models (expression : kind = 'logical' or (differential.element.type.code.all(hasValue() implies matches('^[a-zA-Z0-9]+$')) and snapshot.element.type.code.all(hasValue() implies matches('^[a-zA-Z0-9]+$'))))
  • sdf-2: On StructureDefinition.mapping: Must have at least a name or a uri (or both) (expression on StructureDefinition.mapping: name.exists() or uri.exists())
  • sdf-20: On StructureDefinition.differential: No slicing on the root element (expression on StructureDefinition.differential: element.first().slicing.empty())
  • sdf-3: On StructureDefinition.snapshot: Each element definition in a snapshot must have a formal definition and cardinalities (expression on StructureDefinition.snapshot: element.all(definition and min and max))
  • sdf-4: If the structure is not abstract, then there SHALL be a baseDefinition (expression : abstract = true or baseDefinition.exists())
  • sdf-5: If the structure defines an extension then the structure must have context information (expression : type != 'Extension' or derivation = 'specialization' or (context.exists() and contextType.exists()))
  • sdf-6: A structure must have either a differential, or a snapshot (or both) (expression : snapshot.exists() or differential.exists())
  • sdf-7: If the structure describes a base Resource or Type, the URL has to start with "http://hl7.org/fhir/StructureDefinition/" and the tail must match the id (expression : (derivation = 'constraint') or (kind = 'logical') or (url = 'http://hl7.org/fhir/StructureDefinition/'+id))
  • sdf-8: On StructureDefinition.snapshot: In any snapshot, all the elements must be in the specified type (expression on StructureDefinition.snapshot: element.first().path = %resource.type and element.tail().all(path.startsWith(%resource.type&'.')))
  • sdf-8a: On StructureDefinition.differential: In any differential, all the elements must be in the specified type (expression on StructureDefinition.differential: element.first().path.startsWith(%resource.type) and element.tail().all(path.startsWith(%resource.type&'.')))
  • sdf-9: In any snapshot or differential, no label, code or requirements on the an element without a "." in the path (e.g. the first element) (expression : children().element.first().label.empty() and children().element.first().code.empty() and children().element.first().requirements.empty())
  • A structure is represented as a flat list of elements. The element.path provides the overall structure.
  • Differentials in constraints need only specify elements that they are making rules about. Other elements can be inferred as defined in the base resource
  • Elements specified in the differential (and all elements in the snapshot) must be ordered as such:
    • Elements from the baseDefinition appear before new elements in a specialization profile
    • Elements must be in the same order as the baseDefinition, and child elements appear in depth-first order.
    • Unsliced descendants of sliced elements appear before slices
  • element.short, element.formal, element.comments and element.mapping provide the specific definition for the field in a specific context.
  • element.type is used to specify which types may be used for this element. If there is more than one type, the element offers a choice of types and must have a name that terminates in "[x]". When profiling a resource and only one type is specified, the name of the element is changed to include the type instead of '[x]'.
  • When using XPath to define constraints about the relationship between the contents of the narrative and the contents of the data elements, the element against which the rule is expressed is the one against which the error or warning will be reported by a validator.
  • When expression constraints are placed on elements that offer a choice of types, the expression has to select the type to which it applies using the fluentpath is operator .
  • For XPath constraints, the prefix "f" should be used for "http://hl7.org/fhir", and "h" for "http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml". XPath constraints are written against the XML representation
  • The condition element is used to assert that a constraint defined on another element affects the allowed cardinality of this element.

The base structure definition is used in a number of different ways to support the FHIR specification. The various uses of the StructureDefinition are controlled by the elements kind, constrainedType, base, and url, using this basic pattern:

{
  "url": the identity of this structure definition,
  "kind": (datatype | resource),
  "type": the type being constrained (if it's a constraint)
  "baseDefinition": the structure definition from which this is derived
}

This list shows a number of examples, with links to real examples for each:

  1. Base definition of a data type (example: Quantity - XML, JSON):
    {
      "resourceType": "StructureDefinition",
      "url": "http://hl7.org/fhir/StructureDefinition/Quantity",
      "name": "Quantity",
      "kind": "datatype",
      "baseDefinition": "http://hl7.org/fhir/StructureDefinition/Element"
    }
    
  2. A constrained data type (example: Money - XML, JSON):
    {
      "resourceType": "StructureDefinition",
      "url": "http://hl7.org/fhir/StructureDefinition/Money",
      "name": "Money",
      "kind": "datatype",
      "type": "Quantity",
      "baseDefinition": "http://hl7.org/fhir/StructureDefinition/Quantity"
    }
    
  3. Base definition of a resource (example: Patient - XML, JSON):
    {
      "resourceType": "StructureDefinition",
      "url": "http://hl7.org/fhir/StructureDefinition/Patient",
      "name": "Patient",
      "kind": "resource",
      "baseDefinition": "http://hl7.org/fhir/StructureDefinition/DomainResource"
    }
    
  4. Constraint on a resource (example: Clinical Document Profile for Composition - XML, JSON):
    {
      "resourceType": "StructureDefinition",
      "url": "http://hl7.org/fhir/StructureDefinition/clinicaldocument",
      "name": "Clinical Document Profile for Composition",
      "kind": "resource",
      "type": "Composition",
      "baseDefinition": "http://hl7.org/fhir/StructureDefinition/Composition"
    }
    
  5. Base Extension (a standard data type) (example: Extension - XML, JSON):
    {
      "resourceType": "StructureDefinition",
      "url": "http://hl7.org/fhir/StructureDefinition/Extension",
      "name": "Extension",
      "kind": "datatype",
      "baseDefinition": "http://hl7.org/fhir/StructureDefinition/Element"
    }
    
  6. A defined Extension (example: Extension Data Absent Reason - XML, JSON):
    {
      "resourceType": "StructureDefinition",
      "url": "http://hl7.org/fhir/StructureDefinition/data-absent-reason",
      "name": "Data Absent Reason",
      "kind": "complex-type",
      "type": "Extension",
      "baseDefinition": "http://hl7.org/fhir/StructureDefinition/Extension"
    }
    
  7. A constraint on a defined extension (no examples currently defined):
    {
      "resourceType": "StructureDefinition",
      "url": "http://example.org/fhir/StructureDefinition/race",
      "name": "Race codes used by institution (a subset of meaningful use codes)",
      "kind": "datatype",
      "type": "Extension",
      "baseDefinition": "http://hl7.org/fhir/us/core/StructureDefinition/us-core-race"
    }
    

On this list, structure definitions of type 1, 3, and 5 can only be defined by the FHIR specification itself. The other kinds of structure definitions are (or may be) created by the specification, but can also be defined by other implementers.

When the structure is a constraint (constrainedType is not null), see Extending and Restricting Resources for the rules that apply.

Structures are able to map elements to concepts in other definition systems. Generally these are used to map the elements to local implementation models, data paths, and concepts. However they are also used to map to other standards and published terminologies. These are the standard URIs used for common targets of the mapping:

http://hl7.org/fhir/logicalLogical Mapping
http://clinicaltrials.govClinicalTrials.gov Mapping
http://www.cdisc.org/define-xmlCDISC Define XML 2.0 metadata standard
http://hl7.org/fhir/workflowWorkflow Mapping
http://wiki.siframework.org/IHE+SDC+ProfileIHE Structured Data Capture
http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/UniqueDeviceIdentification/default.htmUDI Mapping
http://ncpdp.org/SCRIPT10_6Mapping to NCPDP SCRIPT 10.6
http://www.cda-adc.ca/en/services/cdanet/Canadian Dental Association eclaims standard
http://snomed.info/conceptdomainSNOMED CT Concept Domain Binding
http://wiki.ihe.net/index.php?title=Data_Element_ExchangeIHE Data Element Exchange (DEX)
http://hl7.org/v2HL7 v2 Mapping
http://hl7.org/v3RIM Mapping
http://metadata-standards.org/11179/ISO 11179
http://snomed.info/sctSNOMED CT Attribute Binding
http://nema.org/dicomDICOM Tag Mapping
http://github.com/MDMI/ReferentIndexContentMDMI Referent Index
http://ihe.net/xdsXDS metadata equivalent
http://cap.org/eccCAP Code
http://hl7.org/v3/cdaCDA (R2)
http://www.hl7.org/implement/standards/product_brief.cfm?product_id=378Quality Improvement Domain Analysis Model
http://www.pharmacists.ca/Canadian Pharmacy Associaiton eclaims standard
http://www.healthit.gov/quality-data-modelQuality Data Model
http://hl7.org/fhir/auditeventFHIR AuditEvent
http://www.w3.org/ns/provW3C PROV
http://hl7.org/orimOntological RIM Mapping
http://loinc.orgLOINC code for the element
http://w3.org/vcardvCard Mapping
http://openehr.orgOpen EHR Archetype Mapping
http://www.omg.org/spec/ServD/1.0/ServD
http://wiki.siframework.org/CQFQuality Improvement and Clinical Knowledge (QUICK)
http://hl7.org/fhir/provenanceFHIR Provenance
http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2445.txtiCalendar

StructureDefinitions are used to define the basic structures of FHIR: data types, resources, extensions, and profiles. The same definition structure can also be used to define any arbitrary structures that are a directed acyclic graph with typed nodes, where the primitive types are those defined by the FHIR specification.

This technique has many uses:

  • Describing any arbitrary content model
  • Describing existing HL7 content models (e.g. v2, CDA) using FHIR
  • Describing common design patterns used in FHIR
  • Defining a content model to support the mapping language

Search parameters for this resource. The common parameters also apply. See Searching for more information about searching in REST, messaging, and services.

NameTypeDescriptionExpressionIn Common
abstracttokenWhether the structure is abstractStructureDefinition.abstract
baseuriDefinition that this type is constrained/specialized fromStructureDefinition.baseDefinition
base-pathtokenPath that identifies the base elementStructureDefinition.snapshot.element.base.path | StructureDefinition.differential.element.base.path
context-typetokenresource | datatype | extensionStructureDefinition.contextType
datedateThe structure definition publication dateStructureDefinition.date
derivationtokenspecialization | constraint - How relates to base definitionStructureDefinition.derivation
descriptionstringThe description of the structure definitionStructureDefinition.description
experimentaltokenFor testing purposes, not real usageStructureDefinition.experimental
ext-contextstringWhere the extension can be used in instancesStructureDefinition.context
identifiertokenExternal identifier for the structure definitionStructureDefinition.identifier
jurisdictiontokenIntended jurisdiction for the structure definitionStructureDefinition.jurisdiction
keywordtokenA code for the profileStructureDefinition.keyword
kindtokenprimitive-type | complex-type | resource | logicalStructureDefinition.kind
namestringComputationally friendly name of the structure definitionStructureDefinition.name
pathtokenA path that is constrained in the profileStructureDefinition.snapshot.element.path | StructureDefinition.differential.element.path
publisherstringName of the publisher of the structure definitionStructureDefinition.publisher
statustokenThe current status of the structure definitionStructureDefinition.status
titlestringThe human-friendly name of the structure definitionStructureDefinition.title
typetokenType defined or constrained by this structureStructureDefinition.type
urluriThe uri that identifies the structure definitionStructureDefinition.url
valuesetreferenceA vocabulary binding referenceStructureDefinition.snapshot.element.binding.valueSet
(ValueSet)
versiontokenThe business version of the structure definitionStructureDefinition.version