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Care Plans

Care Plans are representations of protocols that patients are meant to follow. They exist in two modes:

  • In abstract, a protocol that could apply to a hypothetical patient, which is represented in FHIR as a PlanDefinition.
  • In concrete, a protocol that is planned for a specific patient, the PlanDefinition is instantiated (in FHIR terms, they call this $apply) into an optional CarePlan with a linked RequestGroup representing all the items that need to be done and their status.

It can be helpful to think of the historical analogs to these resources in the physical world. A PlanDefinition can be thought of as a written manual or protocol document that would be given to staff for training. A CarePlan/RequestGroup can be thought of a checklist that is added to a patient chart.

Key Resources

TaskA workhorse resource defining all clinical work items to be completed.
GoalA resource to define a measurable target to achieve.
CarePlanA grouping resource to organize a group of Tasks for each Patient.
PlanDefinitionA resource that defines a clinical protocol that can be implemented on a per-patient basis.
RequestGroupA resource that can define complex relationships between tasks, including temporal tasks, recurring tasks, mutually exclusive tasks, etc.

Key Code Systems

Code SystemDescription
LOINCUsed to define the target measure of a Goal resource.

Other Resources


Feel free to reach out to us at if you have questions about your care plan setup.

Care planning can range from very simple - for example, a single prescription, to very complex - like a surgery with post operative follow up, evaluations, medications and more. For basic use, we recommend looking at reference care plans and customizing them to your needs.