eHealth Ontario

Digital Health Drug Repository Specification – FHIR

A key element of the EHR, the digital health drug repository (DHDR) is an electronic repository of dispensed drug and pharmacy service information that will expand on what has been available to date in the drug profile viewer. The DHDR currently includes records relating to publicly funded drugs, monitored drugs and pharmacy services representing approximately 70 per cent of the total dispensed medications in Ontario. DHDR data will improve patient care by allowing authorized clinicians secure electronic access to a patient's drug information. It will provide more time for diagnosing, treating and communicating with patients and improve patient outcomes by decreasing the risk of adverse drug events.

The DHDR specification provides a data store environment and web services for retrieving dispensed drug history data. This means clinicians can access clinically relevant data securely and efficiently at the point of care through regional clinical viewers and other local point of service systems.


This specification ensures all information technology systems that retrieve drug data from the DHDR can exchange and understand the content through standardized HL7 messages based on FHIR specification and terminologies.


Although this specification is currently available to download, it is considered a draft until it has undergone a provincial review, planned to take place during the summer of 2017.

FHIR is an evolving trial-for-use standard, so additional changes by HL7 are expected. We will continue to monitor developments and assess whether or not there are impacts, and publish updates as they emerge.

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This publication has been exempted from translation under the French Language Services Act as per O. Reg. 671/92. This publication is technical in nature and is available in English only due to its limited targeted audience.

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