Create a concept

Before you create your concept in OpenMRS, contemplate these three steps:

  1. Make sure the concept doesn’t already exist in the dictionary. When searching the dictionary, use partial names (e.g. "Kale" or "Kalet" instead of "Kaletra"). Looking for partial names will help catch misspelled entries. Think about what your organization most generally refers to this concept as – consider all possible synonyms! You may be surprised what concepts already exist.
  2. Make sure that you can describe/understand the concept that you're getting ready to enter! Say for example, that you're asked to create a new term for the retroviral drug eliminatehivudine. Knowing that it's a retroviral drug is insufficient, as you're going to need to detail eliminatehivudine's differences from all other antiretrovirals within the term's description. Don’t be too sure of yourself - double check with the person requesting the new concept that you have the correct, specific definition.
  3. Make sure that you include and standardized representation of the concept, e.g. LOINC or ICD10. If you have no idea what this is – go to the internet or a coworker and find out!

Do you have all of the information ready? Then it's time to walk through a primary concept definition, and the basic attributes this includes.

  • Primary Name
    • The name should begin be completely specific. It is "Hepatitis B immunization", not "Immunization, Hepatitis B".
    • Use sentence case (Malignant cancer) or title case (Malignant Cancer)
    • Use only alphanumeric characters! (If this was a concept, there would be no exclamation point.)
    • NO ACRONYMS – Abbreviations and acronyms are only used as synonyms!!
    • When necessary, always refer to the generic form (e.g. Ibuprofen, not Advil ©)
    • When referring to organism or virus, the full taxonomic name is used (e.g. Human immunodeficiency virus, not HIV)
    • Adhere to complete granularity! "Right upper quadrant abdominal pain" refers to too many observations. This can be tricky in practice – if you’re unsure, refer to a geek or someone who can identify mini-clauses within your proposed primary name.
  • Short Name
    • Be smart – only use alphanumeric characters, avoid long phrases, and acronyms that may have several meanings
  • Synonym
    • Again, be smart! Use any other phrases or acronyms that people within your organization may search for when attempting to use this concept. If you’re at a loss, conduct a survey of possible end users.
  • Description
    • Without question, at the end of reading this statement, a lay person should have a decent idea of the concept’s meaning. This is always REQUIRED – no exceptions.
  • Data Class
    • Is the concept a question that requires responses? If so – label it as a question!
    • Is it a list of questions that are related? If so – label it as a CONVSET!
    • Is it a list of lab procedures that are related? If so - label it as LABSET!
    • Is it a list of medications that are related (e.g. Antiretrovirals)? If so – label it as a MEDSET!
    • If you’ve gotten through the above questions, be smart, and choose the best fitting of the remaining classes.
  • Is it a set?
    • If you answered yes to either question 2,3, or 4 above, check this box! Otherwise you won’t be getting much functionality out of the concept.
  • Datatype
  • Is your concept a question that requires responses?
    • If yes, select the type that best represents the form that you wish to view your data as.
      • If yes, and there are only a few possible answers, select CODED, and choose those possible answers.
      • If yes, and the class is numeric, make sure you enter any critical values. Also, select PRECISE if you desire decimal answers.
    • If no, select N/A.
  • Version

This is completely up to you.

    • Use any method you think works for you.
    • Use a method that will be easily recognized and utilized by all other OpenMRS users.
    • Be consistent with your method across all concepts.