Using Patient-everything in FHIR service

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 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (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 FHIR service in Azure Health Data Services(hereby called FHIR service), Patient-everything is available to pull data related to a specific patient.

Use Patient-everything

To call Patient-everything, use the following command:

GET {FHIRURL}/Patient/{ID}/$everything


You must specify an ID for a specific patient. If you need all data for all patients, see $export.

FHIR service 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 see also or if the seealso link references a RelatedPerson.
  • If there are seealso link reference(s) to other patient(s), the results will include Patient-everything operation against the seealso patient(s) listed.
  • 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.

Patient-everything parameters

FHIR service supports the following query parameters. All of these parameters are optional:

Query parameter Description
_type Allows you to specify which types of resources will be included in the response. For example, _type=Encounter would return only Encounter resources associated with the patient.
_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.

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. It describes 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 we've include 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.

The Patient-everything operation in the FHIR service 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.

Right now, replaces and refer links are ignored by the Patient-everything operation, and the linked patient isn't 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 seealso link's seealso links.

See also flow diagram.

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 handling=lenient.

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.


If a 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:

  1. Phase 1 returns the Patient resource itself in addition to any generalPractitioner and managingOrganization resources ir references.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 these examples, we have a sample REST file that illustrates how the seealso and replaced-by behavior works.

To use Patient-everything to query a patient's "everything" between 2010 and 2020, use the following call:

GET {FHIRURL}/Patient/{ID}/$everything?start=2010&end=2020

To use Patient-everything to query a patient's Observation and Encounter, use the following call:

GET {FHIRURL}/Patient/{ID}/$everything?_type=Observation,Encounter 

To use Patient-everything to query a patient's "everything" since 2021-05-27T05:00:00Z, use the following call:

GET {FHIRURL}/Patient/{ID}/$everything?_since=2021-05-27T05:00:00Z 

If a patient is found for each of these calls, you'll get back a 200 response with a Bundle of the corresponding resources.

Next steps

Now that you know how to use the Patient-everything operation, you can learn about the search options. For more information, see

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