Patient-everything in FHIR
Azure API for FHIR will be retired on September 30, 2026. Follow the migration strategies to transition to Azure Health Data Services FHIR service by that date. Due to the retirement of Azure API for FHIR, new deployments won't be allowed beginning April 1, 2025. Azure Health Data Services FHIR service is the evolved version of Azure API for FHIR that enables customers to manage FHIR, DICOM, and MedTech services with integrations into other Azure services.
The Patient-everything operation is used to provide a view of all resources related to a patient. This operation can be useful to give patients' access to their entire record or for a provider or other user to perform a bulk data download related to a patient. According to the FHIR specification, Patient-everything returns all the information related to one or more patients described in the resource or context on which this operation is invoked. In the Azure API for FHIR, Patient-everything is available to pull data related to a specific patient.
To call Patient-everything, use the following command:
You must specify an ID for a specific patient. If you need all data for all patients, see $export.
The Azure API for FHIR validates that it can find the patient matching the provided patient ID. If a result is found, the response will be a bundle of type
searchset with the following information:
- Patient resource
- Resources that are directly referenced by the patient resource, except link references that aren't of seealso or if the
seealsolink references a
- If there are
seealsolink reference(s) to other patient(s), the results will include Patient-everything operation against the
- Resources in the Patient Compartment
- Device resources that reference the patient resource.
If the patient has more than 100 devices linked to them, only 100 will be returned.
The Azure API for FHIR supports the following query parameters. All of these parameters are optional:
|_type||Allows you to specify which types of resources will be included in the response. For example, _type=Encounter would return only
|_since||Will return only resources that have been modified since the time provided.|
|start||Specifying the start date will pull in resources where their clinical date is after the specified start date. If no start date is provided, all records before the end date are in scope.|
|end||Specifying the end date will pull in resources where their clinical date is before the specified end date. If no end date is provided, all records after the start date are in scope.|
This implementation of Patient-everything does not support the _count parameter.
Processing patient links
On a patient resource, there's an element called link, which links a patient to other patients or related persons. These linked patients help give a holistic view of the original patient. The link reference can be used when a patient is replacing another patient or when two patient resources have complementary information. One use case for links is when an ADT 38 or 39 HL7v2 message comes. The ADT38/39 describe an update to a patient. This update can be stored as a reference between two patients in the link element.
The FHIR specification has a detailed overview of the different types of patient links, but here's a high-level summary:
- replaces - The Patient resource replaces a different Patient.
- refer - Patient is valid, but it's not considered the main source of information. Points to another patient to retrieve additional information.
- seealso - Patient contains a link to another patient that's equally valid.
- replaced-by - The Patient resource replaces a different Patient.
Patient-everything patient links details
The Patient-everything operation in Azure API for FHIR processes patient links in different ways to give you the most holistic view of the patient.
A link can also reference a
RelatedPerson. Right now,
RelatedPerson resources are not processed in Patient-everything and are not returned in the bundle.
As described, seealso links reference another patient that's considered equally valid to the original. After the Patient-everything operation is run, if the patient has
seealso links to other patients, the operation runs Patient-everything on each
seealso link. This means if a patient links to five other patients with a type
seealso link, we'll run Patient-everything on each of those five patients.
This is set up to only follow
seealso links one layer deep. It doesn't process a
The final link type is replaced-by. In this case, the original patient resource is no longer being used and the
replaced-by link points to the patient that should be used. This implementation of
Patient-everything will include by default an operation outcome at the start of the bundle with a warning that the patient is no longer valid. This will also be the behavior when the
Prefer header is set to
In addition, you can set the
Prefer header to
handling=strict to throw an error instead. In this case, a return of error code 301
MovedPermanently indicates that the current patient is out of date and returns the ID for the correct patient that's included in the link. The
ContentLocation header of the returned error will point to the correct and up-to-date request.
replaced-by link is present,
Prefer: handling=lenient and results are returned asynchronously in multiple bundles, only an operation outcome is returned in one bundle.
Patient-everything response order
The Patient-everything operation returns results in phases:
- Phase 1 returns the
Patientresource itself in addition to any
managingOrganizationresources ir references.
- Phase 2 and 3 both return resources in the patient compartment. If the start or end query parameters are specified, Phase 2 returns resources from the compartment that can be filtered by their clinical date, and Phase 3 returns resources from the compartment that can't be filtered by their clinical date. If neither of these parameters are specified, Phase 2 is skipped and Phase 3 returns all patient-compartment resources.
- Phase 4 will return any devices that reference the patient.
Each phase will return results in a bundle. If the results span multiple pages, the next link in the bundle will point to the next page of results for that phase. After all results from a phase are returned, the next link in the bundle will point to the call to initiate the next phase.
If the original patient has any
seealso links, phases 1 through 4 will be repeated for each of those patients.
Examples of Patient-everything
Here are some examples of using the Patient-everything operation. In addition to the examples, we have a sample REST file that illustrates how the
replaced-by behavior works.
To use Patient-everything to query between 2010 and 2020, use the following call:
To use $patient-everything to query a patient’s Observation and Encounter, use the following call:
To use $patient-everything to query a patient’s “everything” since 2021-05-27T05:00:00Z, use the following call:
If a patient is found for each of these calls, you'll get back a 200 response with a
Bundle of the corresponding resources.
Now that you know how to use the Patient-everything operation, you can learn about the search options.
FHIR® is a registered trademark of HL7 and is used with the permission of HL7.