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Understanding FHIR Questionnaires

· 2 min read
Medplum Core Team

At Medplum we know that customizable forms are critical for any healthcare app. Is it even a healthcare app without tons of forms?

To serve that need, we have created a Form builder similar to common tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms but based on the FHIR Questionnaires.

FHIR Questionnaires are very powerful and are widely used in healthcare systems. Medplum can help you author questionnaires or import them from other systems and manipulate them programmatically to get the workflow and data capture you desire.

Here is a 2 minute video introducing the product.

Medplum FHIR Questionnaires

Here's how to get FHIR Questionnaires set up

  1. This tutorial assumes you have registered for an account. If you have not, you can do so here.
  2. You can create new questionnaires using the Questionnaire Tool on Medplum. (Here are all Questionnaires in your account.)
  3. You can use the Builder to add questions that have different types, and they can be common types like strings or integers, or they can be FHIR objects like Organizations or Patients
  4. Each questionnaire has one or more Subjects, which will link the Questionnaire in the tool to the Subject data type. For example if the Subject is a Patient, then the Questionnaire can be found in the Apps tab on the Patient object (see video to get a visual).
  5. Once the Form is filled out a QuestionnaireResponse will be created with all the appropriate data.
  6. This is an advanced topic which will be covered in another tutorial, but you can use Bots to create new FHIR objects and execute an advanced workflows.
  7. Questionnaires can be embedded in applications such as your webapp, this is also an advanced topic for another time but if you want to get started building app start here

Open Source Questionnaires

There are tons of standard questionnaires available online, and some institutions have proprietary ones that are tailored for a use case, or in some cases even validated experimentally.

Some institutions publish their questionnaires - for example:

  • MDCalc publishes a large number of questionnaires like PHQ9
  • Ages and Stages publishes widely used pediatric screening tools.

Having a well managed and documented Questionnaire set with version tracking and attribution can be a huge asset for an organization and we encourage everyone to think of it as such.