This page provides access to the XML computable expression of the openEHR
terminology, and a set of tools to support the use of this terminology
in a variety of contexts including the Archetype Editor. The openEHR terminology (documentary specification) is an adjunct to the openEHR
reference and archetype models, and provides code sets and vocabularies
needed by the models which are language independent. It is not a "real-world" ontology of any kind -
i.e. it does not contain representation of facts in areas such as
diseases or biochemistry - this is the job of much larger terminologies
such as ICDx, ICPC, SNOMED-CT and so on.
The file contains:
It presently includes the translations of all languages - this will be handled in separate files in future.
- Concepts used in the reference model that are DV_CODED_TEXTs and are specified as coming from the openEHR
Terminology. These concepts are grouped and have a group identifier.
The group identifier can be found in the terminology tool provided from
- Concepts that are represented in the user interface of the archetype editor, including labels, menus and dialog box messages.
- Concepts that are properties (e.g. mass, area) which restrict the
set of units available in a DV_QUANTITY - this enables translation of
- Language codes for use with openEHR (ISO).
- Territory codes for use with openEHR (ISO).
- A set of terminology identifiers used by UMLS for linking archetype terms to terminologies.
The concepts are provided in a file called Terminology.xml with an
associated schema, Terminology.xsd. The schema is an XML schema - documentation of this file is provided. The file and schema are provided here.
Tools for manipulating the terminology have been developed for the openEHR Foundation by Ocean Informatics.
Two tools are provided to manage this small terminology. Please note
that the Terminology tool is provided for interest - any wanting to translate or alter this termset needs to contact Ocean Informatics
to ensure the upgrade is coordinated. The Translation tool can be used
independently, submitting the translated Terminology.xml file to Ocean Informatics for
incorporation into the main file. (As explained above, the language
specific files will be distributed separately in future). The files are:
The tools are
provided as .Zipped .exe files. They need to be saved
to and run in the same directory as the Terminology.xml file.
- The openEHR Terminology
tool which allows the user to expand the terminology, add groups and
edit any concepts in any language. This tool includes the translation
- The openEHR Translation
tool which allows the user to translate the terminology to a new
language. This can display all terms, or only those that are requiring
The current design of the openEHR Support Terminology is adequate for the
purpose but there are potential improvements to this design.
The most critical of these is to separate the language specific terms from
the master concepts and groups. The current tools are written in VB.Net by Ocean
Informatics - the source code of these applications can be made
available to those seeking to improve this terminology.
This work has been carried out by Ocean Informatics for the openEHR Foundation.