Naming, identification and versioning of resources may not seem like a big deal, however they can impact on how these resources can be used and coordinated. This is particularly important when creating URIs to refer to in specifications (for example bindings) which you do not want to have to update every time you release a new terminology version, and you don't want to have to constantly update the ValueSet definition for terminology release. However there may be times when non-backward compatible changes are made in the underpinning terminology or ValueSet which require a new URI to preserve the meaning and use of the old URI.

This tension can be subtle and complex, and in FHIR there's fields for id, identifier, url, and version to use as levers in resolving this, as well as the technical versioning for each resource.

Fortunately in Australia we've had Liam Barnes working on this in collaboration with our Clinical Informatics team who are the customers of bindings to ValueSets. I'm hoping that by tagging him I can co-opt him into explaining this issue on this page (smile), and sharing our latest thoughts and plans.

The intention is to share these ideas and collaborate to define some guidelines and best practices (or at least a checklist of considerations) when naming, identifying and versioning FHIR terminology resources.

ThanksĀ Liam Barnes!