New message guidelines

Initiating a new message definition

Please be aware any FHIR project shall follow the FHIR governance that is described on its own page

A new standard message definition, needed to support generic or specific transactions between Health Actors, should be notified to the eHealth Platform Standards team.  

The Standards team will support your organization in 

  • the clarification of the specifications
  • the alignment with the currently selected & used message structure standards (KMEHR) and semantic standards (SNOMED-CT, LOINC, …)
  • the alignment with the current eHealth architecture
  • the validation by an expert team of the new message definition
  • the central publication of the proposed standard

A message that is published as a standard is by definition always free to use both by the sending and the receiving parties. In other words, every software vendor may integrate it in its software package free of charge.

As these messages need to be of high quality and use a decent architecture, the eHealth Platform guards this process.

As a quick starting guide, follow these three steps:

Step 1: Signal of intent

From the intent to create a new message, it is vital to signal this immediately (before starting the documentation of the specifications & before the finalization of the content requirements).

Send a mail to to signal this intent to create a new message.

Use "New message intent" as the subject in the mail.

In the mail, this information is minimally expected:

  • The owner(s) of the project and contact details.
  • Short description of the context of the project :
    • Why and what for is it going to be used 
    • Target audience: who will send and who will receive this message.
    • The type of information: therapeutical (e.g. diagnose), administrative (e.g. tarification), …
    • The transport layer
    • Timing


Step 2: Communication and Work on the message definition

Based on the signal of intent, the eHealth Platform Standards team will 

  1. communicate this intent on this “Belgium eHealth standard portal” : 
    1. Signal of intent appears in this list with the status ‘Announced’.
    2. Major stakeholders will be informed by mailing of this intent
  2. work with its partners and the initiator of the signal to find the relevant experts to help define and validate the functional content of the message. The goal is to go from a simple ‘Proposal’ to a ‘Validated Proposal’. This will each time be reflected in the status. 

Step 3: Towards publication

Once the owner(s) of the project have finalized the functional and technical documentation of the new message it needs to be tested and could eventually be considered a standard. 

Each new or adapted standard structured message definition is validated. 

The validated message definitions are published in this list with the status ‘Published’.


For more detailed information and target timings, a document detailing this procedure was agreed upon by the Beheerscomité van het eHealth-platform / Comité de gestion de la plate-forme eHealth and presented to the Architecture workgroup of the Comité de concertation des utilisateurs de la plate-forme eHealth / Overlegcomité van de gebruikers van eHealth Platform.

This can be downloaded here FR NL.