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A protocol describes a prospective set of targets or events related to accomplishing targets or goals for a condition or treatment program. They may be used to track timing of preventive care measures, to describe the series of encounters and treatments within a specific treatment program, or to define the list of anticipated events given a particular disease or condition. As much as possible, OpenMRS should strive to align our Care Plan with FHIR's Protocol resource.


  • In designing, we should try to draw from FHIR's Protocol rather than re-inventing the wheel.
  • A Protocol should help define the "schedule" of expected events (treatments, appointments, encounters).
  • Timing of events may be relative to a sentinel event (diagnosis, enrollment in a treatment program, age, etc.) or may be computed based on other factors (patient's age, timing of an encounter or observation, etc.).
  • The Protocol should not store the actual data (encounters, observations, etc.), since that's the role of Episodes, Encounters, Observations, etc.; rather, a Protocol can be linked to and compared with data within these other resources, for example, to determine adherence. The primary concern of the Protocol is to define the expectations of care.



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