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The ActivityDefinition defines a template for the creation of intent resources (such as requests, plans, or proposals). The structure contains generic information that can be applied to any intent resource, as well as some specific structures to support the definition of more complex activities such as MedicationRequest.

The resource can be used independently, but it can also be combined with multiple definitions using the PlanDefinition resource to describe order sets, protocols, or decision support rules.

The intent of the resource is to provide reusable activity definitions to enable automated sharing of knowledge artifacts such as order sets, protocols, and decision support rules.

Owning committee name

Clinical Decision Support Work Group

Committee Approval Date:

  • Resource Proposal: 2016-07-06
  • STU3 Ballot Submission: 2016-08-03

Contributing or Reviewing Work Groups

FHIR Resource Development Project Insight ID

1234: FHIR-Based Clinical Quality Framework (CQF-on-FHIR)

Scope of coverage

An ActivityDefinition is a knowledge artifact that enables the representation and sharing of pre-defined templates for intent resources. It differs from the intent resources in that it is not specific to a given patient or particular type of resource, rather it defines a template for constructing a specific intent resource for a patient.

ActivityDefinitions can be used both within and between healthcare delivery environments, both as part of a catalog, as well as by content providers for sharing and distribution of activity templates.

The resource is flexible enough to be used to describe activity definitions for any discipline and locale, as well as for any resource type. The structure is generally high-level and conceptual, though it does contain specific structures for more complex intent resources such as MedicationOrder. As these more specific types are introduced, it may make sense to break the resource into several more specific resources.

RIM scope

Resource appropriateness

The notion of a "template" for a clinical activity is an important aspect of describing and sharing clinical knowledge. The concept appears in multiple settings and the resource should be general to handle a broad variety of use cases. In particular, the concept is key to modeling protocols, order sets, and decision support rules.

Expected implementations

Motive Medical Cognitive Medical NCCN Plexina

Content sources

Example Scenarios

The resource will be used for the same example scenarios as the PlanDefinition resource, namely:

Low Suicide Risk

When assessing a patient for suicide risk, the actions that should be taken as a result of the assessment is defined as an order set.

Obesity Determination Protocol

Example of A medical algorithm for assessment and treatment of overweight and obesity

Research Protocols

Clinical trials and other types of research specify protocols to ensure the research produces valid data. The resource can be used to specify actions to be taken in the clinical trial.

Resource Relationships

This resource will make use of the Library resource to represent any logic involved in defining the behavior of the plan definition.

This resource will also be referenced by the PlanDefinition resource to represent the target of each action within the plan definition.


September 2016 Ballot Cycle in support of the CQF IG.

gForge Users


When Resource Proposal Is Complete

When you have completed your proposal, please send an email to