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Owning committee name


Contributing or Reviewing Work Groups


FHIR Resource Development Project Insight ID


Scope of coverage

Covers the data about an interaction between a patient and healthcare provider(s) for the purpose of providing healthcare service(s) or assessing the health status of a patient.

It covers encounters in ambulatory, emergency, home health, inpatient and virtual visits. An Encounter encompasses the lifecycle from pre-admission and preparation, the actual visit (for ambulatory visits), and admission, stay and discharge (for inpatient visits).

RIM scope


Resource appropriateness

Hospital systems track information about the admission and discharge of patients and meetings between the patient and a care professional (mostly for billing purposes). The systems we've looked at include data about the patient's location as well. Although data around encounters is certainly tracked during a period of time, there seems to be no clear identifier for an encounter. Many systems seem to keep separate records for in- and outpatients but we combined these into one resource after broad consultation:

  • There's considerable overlap in attributes (although that would not be enough reason on its own to combine them)
  • We prefer having a single concept to use for tracking the administrative context of the clinical events, it's less relevent whether this is for an in- or outpatient
  • Recently, PA and PC have merged the different v3 models that existed for separate kinds of Encounters into one, based on community input
  • Gut feeling and experience with teaching shows its problematic to keep them separate

Expected implementations

Encounter data is tracked by most, if not all, hospital information systems.

Content sources

  • CIMI
  • Actual implementations: ChipSoft, Epic, Cerner

Example Scenarios

  • A patient present at the hospital for an outpatient encounter with his cardiologist
  • A person brought in at the emergency department
  • An older couple staying at a nursery home
  • A GP visiting a patient at home

Resource Relationships

Refers to Location, Patient, Appointment, Practitioner, Organization Will be refered to by all (possibly PC-related resources) that want to track the context of recording (i.e. measurement taken during which encounter)


Expected to be ready for september 2013 DSTU ballot

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