Announcing: A FHIR API for Best Practice Premier!

In partnership with Bp Software, we have developed a FHIR facade that enables communication with practices running Bp Premier using the HL7 FHIR standard.

The initial functionality is now available for use by approved Best Practice Partners, while development continues to expand the available resources and features.

Aiming for maximum interoperability

One of Halo Connect’s core goals is to lower the barrier to entry for integrated, innovative digital health products in Australian healthcare. To do this, we wanted to create use-case-specific API endpoints that could abstract away PMS-specific details. This would allow integrators to query practices via Halo Cloud with little understanding of the underlying database required, enabling faster development and interoperability across PMSs.

One option was to design our own endpoints — but we all know the old adage about the proliferation of standards. This left adopting an existing standard, and with the momentum and support behind FHIR in recent years, it was the sensible choice.

Using an international standard like FHIR means more than just modernising integrations for Bp Premier. It also means those integrations get in-built compatibility with international systems, and it’s an opportunity to bring international vendors into the Australian market, further driving innovation in Australian healthcare.

Industry-leading design

Our FHIR API has been designed based on Au Base version 4.1.0, falling back to FHIR R4 (version 4.0.1) when necessary. It uses community open-source FHIR SDKs under the hood and design decisions have been informed by industry peers like HAPI and ClinFHIR when the FHIR specification was too ambiguous.

It has been developed in close partnership with Best Practice to ensure the intent of the practice data is faithfully maintained, yet steps have also been taken to stick to the FHIR standard as closely as possible.

The API does not yet use any custom extensions, though we know they will likely be necessary to properly represent key data. Having said that, Halo Connect and Best Practice are committed to an API that is as interoperable as possible, which means custom extensions are a last resort.

Enabling a gradual transition

Adopting a standard like FHIR can, of course, be quite the task. And developing full FHIR support for Bp Premier isn’t something we can do overnight. So we’ve worked with Bp to give integrators options — in this case, the ability to mix and match our FHIR API and SQL Passthrough API as necessary.

Need a list of patients, or details about the practice? Use the FHIR API to search for the required resources using various supported search parameters.

Need to grab specific data we don’t yet support in FHIR? Feel free to send a SQL query via the Passthrough — and send Bp a feature request so we can add your use case to the roadmap!

Development continues

Mapping the entirety of Bp Premier to FHIR is a work in progress, and the functionality available now is just the beginning of what we have planned. Development of the FHIR API will be iterative, with plans to release new resources and features regularly.

We are continuing to work with Best Practice to prioritise FHIR features based on Bp Partner use cases. More information about the roadmap can be found in the Bp Premier Knowledge Base. To make a feature request, please contact the Best Practice Partnerships Team.

Expanding beyond Bp Premier

We are working with Bp to expand the FHIR API to include Bp Omni, and we have plans to support even more PMSs. Much of our FHIR infrastructure is transferable, so if you’re thinking of getting on the FHIR train but aren’t sure where to start, contact us at

Where to learn more?

Our docs now include a section for the FHIR API which details how the API works and what functionality is currently available.

Specific information about which resources are currently available for Bp Premier, and details of how they map to the data, is available in the Bp Partner Knowledge Base.

If you’re already using Halo Cloud, the FHIR API is available today — it’s just a different endpoint. And if you aren’t, feel free to contact us or the Bp Partnerships Team for more information about how to sign up!

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