Direct access to documentation

Welcome to the eHealth Platform Standards website

This website gives an overview of the standards and their context used in the technical structure of message formats. Here you can find: 

Also on this website that you might be looking for:

concerning new message standards

If you intend or your organization intends to create a new definition of a structured message, it is important to follow the right guidelines. Read more about the new message guidelines.

concerning terminology and semantics

The importance of terminologies is broader than its implementation in structured messages.

The Terminology Center within the FPS health, food chain safety and environment plays a vital role in the management, creation and distribution of terminologies concerning health. The center is also specifically active in the management and distribution of SNOMED-CT within Belgium. SNOMED-CT is the principal national reference terminology.

As such, they are your first point of contact concerning any semantic question: Terminology Center

concerning KMEHR

KMEHR was introduced in 2002. It is an implementation of the fourth recommendation of the Belgian Healthcare Telematics Commission, enabling the exchange of structured clinical information.

KMEHR is mainly composed of the following elements:

  • an XML schema that defines a general and simple message grammar,
  • a set of recognized medical transactions compliant with this grammar,
  • a set of reference tables whose values may be used within KMEHR messages.

Those core elements have been complemented by a set of web services implemented in concrete initiatives for the standardized exchange of data between systems.

The Migration Formats describe specific uses of the KMEHR core elements.

The organization of the site follows the core concepts of the norm.

  • The Basic section describes the KMEHR XSchema structure as well as the related basic principles and concepts.
  • The Transactions section documents the recognized transactions. (KMEHR and other)
  • The Tables section provides an overview of the reference tables used (used in KMEHR and others)
  • The Web services section provides the definition of a minimal set of services to support the transactions exchange.

Additionally, you can find a quick overview as well as a tutorial in the Support section.

We strongly recommend that you begin your reading with the overview and basic sections before tackling the more specialized sections.

The eHValidator tool can be found here.

concerning FHIR

‘Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources’ or ‘FHIR’ is a standards framework created by HL7. HL7 is a non-profit organization of subject matter experts and information experts working together to create frameworks and standards to exchange electronic health information.

In support of the cluster 0.5 of the actieplan_2019-2021_e-gezondheid/ Plan d’actions e-Santé 2019-2021’ the HL7 FHIR standard is the preferred standard to use. This means any new data flow identified will preferably use the FHIR standard to model its data.

Any new interface in a new data flow will also preferably use the FHIR specifications with a preference for REST. The added value of FHIR is enhanced by sending data both in a structured and a codified way. The guidelines concerning the FHIR narrative shall be followed.

As the FHIR specification is very developer friendly, there will be no public delivery of FHIR validation or visualisation tools by the eHealth Platform. Developers are encouraged to enjoy the speed and abundance of the existing FHIR eco system, which existence is indeed one of the rationales behind the choice for FHIR.

Also, as a description of the FHIR standard, the pages published by HL7 are considered to be sufficient. When needed and mature, eHealth Platform will however publish specific profiles and implementation guidelines for federal initiatives. It will also investigate the use of FHIR registers to publish technical formats of these profiles. These publications will take the form of downloadable technical profiles according to the FHIR specs. The eHealth Platform Standards website will publish the necessary links. The new message guidelines remain active.

The first stage of the Belgian profiling initiative will focus on basic Belgian profiles and guidelines for the FHIR resources Patient, Practitioner, PractitionerRole, Organization, Observation, Provenance and AllergyIntolerance. This also includes the needed ValueSets, CodeSystems and NamingSystems. A first vision around the FHIR strategy has been elaborated with our stakeholders. More detailed communication around this will follow on this website in Q3 and Q4 2019. 

As a general guideline, the FHIR standards shall be used as close as possible to the basic HL7 published standard. As a consequence of this, when needed eHealth Platform will only focus on nuances and clarifications between the Belgian initiative and the published standard. It shall be very clear any transition of current KMEHR flows to FHIR without additional effort on codification and structuring does not provide significant added value. The nature of the data in our systems does not allow for any ‘big bang’ scenario.