As we progress with our work on supporting the import of clinical data using FHIR, we’ll need to work around many instances where we require data elements that FHIR is not designed to send us.
For example, lets consider creating an OpenMRS patient using a FHIR patient resource that was posted to us. What if this patient is dead? if so, and if we’re creating it, we need to define a cause of death, which FHIR is not sending us. The only way that FHIR can send us a cause of death is via an extension, but tbh, that might be an issue because we cannot control how users may decide to structure their extensions.
Another example would be on how we can support creating new patient identifiers. OpenMRS requires that patient identifiers have locations attached, and unfortunately, FHIR doesn’t support this.
Given these two examples, and given the current stage of our work, would it make sense to use a default ‘UNKNOWN’ value for both of these attributes? so basically, cause of death ‘unknown’ and location ‘unknown’?