The HL7 FHIR community is an open, welcoming community that respects all members.

The HL7 FHIR project is committed to providing a community that welcomes new members and provides a pathway to education about FHIR and full integration into the community.

Connectathons are a key part of our community engagement!

What is a Connectathon?

An HL7 FHIR Connectathon is an event that is centered on developing the HL7 FHIR Specification including resources, profiles and implementation guides. The purpose of a Connectathon is to prove that the specification is complete and facilitate FHIR implementation guide maturity.

The HL7 FHIR Connectathon Approach

The HL7 FHIR Community Vision is to enable Health Interoperability through the use of FHIR and use that to deliver improvements in healthcare provision throughout the world. HL7 FHIR Connectathon participants come together several times per year to work alongside vendor peers, healthcare providers and administrators, and the individuals and organizations that actually wrote the HL7 FHIR specification. Test tools like Touchstone.com and others are made available for developers to rapidly learn to implement the standard and validate their conformance to the specification and mature implementation guides. The HL7 FHIR Community Vision is highly reliant on the building a specification for healthcare APIs that is highly reusable. The fact that an implementation guide can be re-used at many deployments drives down the time and costs and drives up quality of health data for all.

FHIR Resources and implementation guides that are early in their maturity are more open for debate. When multiple stakeholders come together and find that their code does not interoperate, either one of them did not interpret the specification or IG correctly or it could mean that the FHIR documentation was not complete enough. Thus the FHIR specification is often improved during Connectathon and depends on transparency in the work that happens during these events.

What happens at Connectathon stays at Connectathon!

Connectathons are a safe place for everyone to fail forward. Connectathon testing with peer organizations is good for developers and for the HL7 FHIR standard. Connectathons offer developers a better place to fail than at a customer site. Customers expect to use products, not participate in debugging. By allowing product vendors to practice interoperability in a Connectathon setting, vendors can come to resolution and inform the specification evolution so that true interoperability can be enabled.

Out of Cycle HL7 FHIR Connectathon Criteria for Approval by the FHIR Management Group

  • Needs to be sponsored by HL7 International or an affiliate and approved by FMG.

  • Must submit names of the coordinator and technical lead for the Connectathon

  • Need to have at least one person familiar with FHIR

  • Persons should have participated in a prior Connectathon, having an implementation, etc.

  • Remains a judgment call from FMG for now

  • Identify what version of the spec on which they will draw

  • Need to assert if they have requirements for a frozen version of the spec and what other requirements they have

  • Describe the scenarios to execute

  • Comments from experience will be DSTU comments.

Participate as a Track Lead:

Anyone is welcome to submit a Track Proposal for an HL7 FHIR Connectathon. HL7 International hosts three main Connectathons annually typically held the weekend prior to the Working Group Meeting; however, the virtual format has slightly altered that pattern. Track Proposals are generally accepted from 12 weeks prior to 6 weeks prior to the Connectathon and are reviewed by the FHIR Management Group. To find the track proposal deadline and the associated track template, review and watch the Connectathon Event Page for the Track Proposal Template and specific event details including Track Lead Orientation.

To Get Started Review the following: 

Track Lead Resources

Track Lead Responsibilities

Connectathon Track Process

Join the Connectathon as a Participant to test the HL7 FHIR Specification or an Implementation Guide:

Interested in attending a Connectathon? Be sure to register prior to the event! Registration typically opens about 12 weeks prior to the event, and more information about registration and track participation is available on the specific Connectathon Event Page below:

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