One of the best things about FHIR (besides the community, the manageability, the best practices, the global acceptance, the modern approach to data exchange…) is that the production of documentation is largely automated. There are several tools for that, but we have been working on the FHIR Implementation Guide, which is a FHIR resource (of course, a computable, versioned artifact) and the remarkable ImplementationGuide Publisher.

With the many things we are doing to improve the publication of FHIR specifications based on the ImplementationGuide, one thing was long due: The abiliy for HL7 Belgium to officially publish the ImplementationGuides for the Community specifications.

This has been mentioned and expected by other institutions – other HL7 affiliates, IHE, etc. Thankfully the ImplementationGuide Publisher does pretty much everything for us.

After several attempts and thanks to the help of colleagues, we now have a set of instructions to make the IG Publisher prepare that publication.

In addition, we also have a simple script that goes through this procedure – this is important because there are many variables and there are several things that can go unnoticed.

The procedure, in a nutshell, is:

  1. Prepare the folder structure – one folder for “publications”, which contains the ImplementationGuides. Then each ImplementationGuide contains the folder that can be uploaded to the web server.
  2. Put the IG in that folder, run the publisher once to ensure that the content is OK for publication
  3. For every new release, run some more commands, add the package description.

After this is done, the ImplementationGuide gets the publication ready, with the necessary redirects, and the history page pointing at the different releases.

The history page should also follow the institution’s template, and we already have a template for that.

This procedure may change – will change – to fix some issues, so the best thing is to use the instructions online (in the Belgian repository and in the HL7 confluence page) and especially use the script.

PRs welcome, feedback much appreciated.


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