Argonaut Data Query Implementation Guide Version 1.0.0

This page is part of the Argonaut Data Query Implementation Guide (v1.0.0: Release) based on FHIR R2. This is the current published version. For a full list of available versions, see the Directory of published versions

Definitions, Interpretations and Requirements

This section outlines important definitions and interpretations used in the this IG.

Must Support

In the context of Argonaut, Supported on any data element SHALL be interpreted as follows:

  • Argonaut Responders SHALL be capable of including the data element as part of the query results as specified by the Argonaut conformance resources.
  • Argonaut Requestors SHALL be capable of processing resource instances containing the data elements. In other words Argonaut Requestors SHOULD be capable of displaying the data elements for human use or storing it for other purposes.
  • In situations where information on a particular data element is not present and the reason for absence is unknown, Argonaut Responders SHALL NOT include the data elements in the resource instance returned as part of the query results.
  • When querying Argonaut Responders, Argonaut Requestors SHALL interpret missing data elements within resource instances as data not present in the Argonaut Responder’s systems.
  • In situations where information on a particular data element is missing and the Argonaut Responder knows the precise reason for the absence of data, Argonaut Responders MAY send the reason for the missing information using values from the value set where they exist or using the dataAbsentReason extension.
  • Argonaut Requestors SHALL be able to process resource instances containing data elements asserting missing information.

  • NOTE: Argonaut Responders who do not have the capability to store or return a data element tagged as Supported in Argonaut profiles can still claim conformance to the Argonaut profiles per the Argonaut conformance resources.
  • NOTE: The above definition of Supported is derived from HL7v2 concept “Required by may be empty - RE” described in HL7v2 V28_CH02B_Conformance.doc.
  • NOTE: Readers are advised to understand FHIR Terminology requirements, FHIR RESTful API based on the HTTP protocol, along with FHIR DataTypes, FHIR Search and FHIR Resource formats before implementing Argonaut requirements.

Conformance Verbs

The conformance verbs used in this IG are defined in FHIR Conformance Rules.

Extensible binding for CodeableConcept Datatype

Extensible binding to a value set definition for this IG means that if the data type is CodeableConcept, then one of the coding values SHALL be from the specified value set if a code applies, but if no suitable code exists in the value set, alternate code(s) may be provided in its place. If only text available, then just text may be used.

Extensible + Max-ValueSet binding for CodeableConcept Datatype

For this IG, we have defined the Extensible + Max-ValueSet binding to allow for either a code from the defined value set or text if the code is not available. (for example, legacy data). This means,unlike a regular extensible binding, alternate code(s) are not permitted and a text value SHALL be supplied if the code is not available. However, multiple codings (translations) are allowed as is discussed below.

Example: Immunization resource vaccineCode’s CVX coding - the source only has the text “4-way Influenza” and no CVX code.

  "resourceType": "Immunization",
  "vaccineCode": {
    "text":"4-way Influenza"

Required binding for Code Datatype

Required binding to a value set definition for this IG means that one of the codes from the specified value set SHALL be used. For CodeableConcept you may have additional codings elements as translations as is discussed below. If only text is available or the local (proprietary, system) cannot be mapped to one of the required codes the The core specification provides guidance which we have summarized:

  1. Send the resource with coded element element empty
  2. Use the DataAbsentReason Extension in the data type
  3. Use the code ‘unsupported’ - The source system wasn’t capable of supporting this element.

Note that is will still be ambiguous when using a status based queries

Example: AllergyIntolerance resource with a status that is text only or cannot be mapped to the status value set.

    “url” : “[]”,
   “valueCode” : “unsupported”

Required binding for CodeableConcept Datatype

Required binding to a value set definition means that one of the codes from the specified value set SHALL be used and using only text is not valid. In this IG, we have defined the Extensible + Max-ValueSet binding to allow for either a code from the specified value set or text. Multiple codings (translations) are permitted as is discussed below.

Using multiple codes with CodeableConcept Datatype

Atlernate codes may be provided in addition to the standards codes defined in required or extensible value sets. The alternate codes are called “translations”. These translations may be equivalent to or narrower in meaning to the standard concept code.

Example of multiple translation for Body Weight concept code.

"code": {
    "coding": [
        "system": "",  //NOTE:this is the standard concept defined in the value set//
        "code": "29463-7",
        "display": "Body Weight"
//NOTE:this is a translation to a more specific concept
        "system": "",
        "code": "3141-9",
        "display": "Body Weight Measured"
//NOTE:this is a translation to a different code system (Snomed CT)
        "system": "",
        "code":  “364589006”,
        "display": "Body Weight"
//NOTE:this is a translation to a locally defined code
        "system": "",
        "code":  “BWT”,
        "display": "Body Weight"
    "text": "weight"

Example of translation of NDC vaccine code to CVX code.

"vaccineCode" : {
    "coding" : [
        "system" : "",
        "code" : "158",
        "display" : "influenza, injectable, quadrivalent"
        "system" : "",
        "code" : "49281-0623-78",
        "display" : "FLUZONE QUADRIVALENT"

Using UCUM in the [Quantity] datatype

The Argonaut Vital Signs Profile and Argonaut Result Observation Profile require using UCUM units. This guidance specifies how to represent the Quantity datatype when the ccorrect UCUM units are missing or the units are missing altogether which will likely occur in the real world. If the wrong UCUM units are used for the vitals signs listed in the Vital Signs Profile, that should lead to a validation failure.

UCUM code provided

 "valueQuantity": {
    "value": 26.0,
    "unit": "g/mL",
   "system": "",
   "code": "g/mL"

free text units (no UCUM units): if have no UCUM units then represent units only in units element. if there is another Units codesystem they would go here as well.

 "valueQuantity": {
    "value": 26.0,
    "unit": "RR",

no units

      "valueQuantity": {
    "value": 26.0

Read(Fetch) resource notation:

The interactions on IG page are defined like this:

GET [base]/[Resource-type]/[id] {parameters}

  • GET is the HTTP verb used for fetching a resource
  • Content surrounded by [] is mandatory, and will be replaced by the string literal identified.
  • Content surrounded by {} is optional
    • parameters: URL parameters as defined for the particular interaction (e.g.”?_format=xml”}

For more information see the FHIR RESTful API

Search Syntax

In the simplest case, a search is executed by performing a GET operation in the RESTful framework:

GET [base]/[Resource-type]?name=value&…

For this RESTful search (see definition in RESTful API), the parameters are a series of name=[value] pairs encoded in the URL. The search parameter names are defined for each resource. For example the Observation resource the name “code” for search on the LOINC code. See Searching for more information about searching in REST, messaging, and services.

Syntax for searches limited by patient

There are three ways to search for resources associated with a specific patient depending on the context and implementation. These three searches result in the same outcome.:

  1. An explicitly defined patient that controls which set of resources are being searched by resource type:

GET [base]/[Resource-type]?patient=24342{&otherparameters}

Note that all the search interactions in this IG are published using the above syntax.

However there are several variations to this syntax:

  • GET [base]/[Resource-type]?Subject=[id]{&other parameters}
  • GET [base]/[Resource-type]?Subject=Patient/[id]{&other parameters}
  • GET [base]/[Resource-type]?Subject._id=[id]{&other parameters}
  • GET [base]/[Resource-type]?subject:Patient=[id]{&other parameters}
  • GET [base]/[Resource-type]?subject:Patient=Patient/[id]{&other parameters}
  • GET [base]/[Resource-type]?subject:Patient=https://[url]/Patient/id{&other parameters}
  • GET [base]/[Resource-type]?subject:Patient._id=[id]{&other parameters}
  • GET [base]/[Resource-type]?patient:Patient=https://[url]/Patient/id{&other parameters}
  1. if the patient is implicit in the context (e.g. UC-1 above or using SMART), then this search applies:

GET [base]/[Resource-type]?other-parameters


  • Patient compartment based search with a specified resource type in that compartment is not suported for this IG.
  • In addition, Argonaut servers will not resolve full URLs that are external to their environment.

Guidance on limiting the number of search results

In order to manage the number of search results returned, the server may choose to return the results in a series of pages. The search result set contains the URLs that the client uses to request additional pages from the search set. For a simple RESTful search, the page links are contained in the returned bundle as links. See the core specification for more information