Leading with FHIR

To make electronic health records available, discoverable and understandable as patients move around the healthcare ecosystem, Patients Know Best (PKB) operates under FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) - the standard developed and nurtured by HL7 (Health Level 7) International, and adopted by NHS Digital.




Consistency in design and delivery

The NHS England Digital Transformation Strategy mandates the use of FHIR APIs using CareConnect across the NHS ecosystem. These APIs use a standardised set of FHIR resources to consistently facilitate the development of interoperable systems. By adhering to these nationally-defined standards, customers can be reassured that PKB creates APIs which easily integrate across NHS trusts and third-party organisations.


"FHIR provides a comprehensive universal standard which sits at the heart of the NHS interoperability strategy, eliminating the financial and resource burden of repeated integration cycles with bespoke, proprietary APIs. At PKB, we actively work in close collaboration with our integration partners at CIE and DDS to develop inbound FHIR API capabilities and provide a standardised mechanism for data to flow into the rich PKB record to benefit patients and clinicians alike."

Daniel Whiteley

Developer, Patients Know Best


The future roadmap

We have a dedicated Development team focussed on delivering demographic and clinical FHIR APIs that conform to the CareConnect specification. The first stage of delivery will be for demographic details, record creation and registration, followed by a clinical data set which includes diagnoses, allergies and medications.

Following prioritisation, the team works with their technical counterparts in customer organisations to develop specifications and implementation plans that align with the standards and requirements used by those customers.


Informed by customers

A Technical User Group (TUG) has been established to support the implementation and prioritisation of new APIs. This allows customers to share their requirements with our team, and other customers, to help determine expected usage. It also enables us to understand the scale and speed at which developments are required so we can collectively prioritise those that deliver the greatest benefit to the most number of people. The first TUG is due to take place this year. 


"We’re able to partner and collaborate with PKB on its FHIR APIs, and have been actively doing so. It’s clear that PKB is committed to developing two-way, standards-based open APIs and that we can work with other NHS providers and suppliers to use these APIs. We have a transparent relationship with PKB based on mutual trust, therefore we’re comfortable focussing our investment on funding prioritisation and acceleration of the APIs we need most quickly for our local health economy and shared care records."


Alexis Farrow

Head of Strategy and Transformation, Connected Nottinghamshire


Collaborating with Imperial

To support the development of North West London’s Care Information Exchange (powered by PKB), we work closely with the team at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, to develop specifications that meet their project goals. Open communication supported by collaborative tools creates transparency and a shared understanding of all tasks, any issues and the associated timescales for completion. Development is road mapped based on the customer’s clinical data priorities, ensuring that phase one, which includes diagnoses, medications and appointments, aligns to the organisation's expected use cases.

Development of FHIR APIs



Patient Banner & Timeline View
Released January 2019

An upgraded patient banner and timeline view uses components of the web interface and is underpinned by a set of FHIR APIs to expose any necessary data.


OAuth 2.0 Support
Released April 2020

The upgraded OAuth 2.0 support enables the client credentials workflow. This is an industry-standard workflow that will underpin our system-level FHIR APIs in future.


OAuth 2.0 Enhancements
Released June 2020

We delivered a collection of system-level API calls to support our hybrid mail and mass registration workflows. These support FHIR compliant API calls for obtaining document read receipts, checking patient registration statuses and generating invitation tokens.


Questionnaire answers

This API will allow organisations to extract patient responses to questionnaires in the system. This will make it easier for organisations to extract and analyse the data, and add the data into other systems.



Record Creation & Demographics

This FHIR API will allow customers to create patient records, invite patients to register by email and update patient demographics. This will give customers the flexibility to choose how to create records and onboard patients.