Metadata repository for improved data sharing and reuse based on HL7 FHIR

Hannes Ulrich*, Ann Kristin Kock, Petra Duhm-Harbeck, Jens K. Habermann, Josef Ingenerf

*Corresponding author for this work
2 Citations (Scopus)


Unreconciled data structures and formats are a common obstacle to the urgently required sharing and reuse of data within healthcare and medical research. Within the North German Tumor Bank of Colorectal Cancer, clinical and sample data, based on a harmonized data set, is collected and can be pooled by using a hospital-integrated Research Data Management System supporting biobank and study management. Adding further partners who are not using the core data set requires manual adaptations and mapping of data elements. Facing this manual intervention and focusing the reuse of heterogeneous healthcare instance data (value level) and data elements (metadata level), a metadata repository has been developed. The metadata repository is an ISO 11179-3 conformant server application built for annotating and mediating data elements. The implemented architecture includes the translation of metadata information about data elements into the FHIR standard using the FHIR Data Element resource with the ISO 11179 Data Element Extensions. The FHIR-based processing allows exchange of data elements with clinical and research IT systems as well as with other metadata systems. With increasingly annotated and harmonized data elements, data quality and integration can be improved for successfully enabling data analytics and decision support.

Original languageEnglish
JournalStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
Pages (from-to)162-166
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2017


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