Representing a Real value in openEHR

Thomas Beale thomas.beale at
Tue Mar 17 06:23:57 EDT 2015

Hi David,

until we discovered that a few scores use non Integral values, there was 
no need for a 'real' type with no units. There is a CR to enable 
DV_ORDINAL to have real values. Until then, I would suggest using the 
DV_QUANTITY approach, that's the most frequently used one in the past. 
Other than these scores, I have never heard of a real value that doesn't 
have units in medicine. Does anyone know of any? If there is one, we 
would need a new data type as well, but it still wouldn't be the one to 
use for scores.

- thomas

On 17/03/2015 10:09, David Moner wrote:
> Hello,
> It might seem a very basic question, but I couldn't find an 
> appropriate answer anywhere. Which is the best way to model a single 
> Real number in openEHR? For example, a result of a score.
> I have found two possible options:
> - Use a DV_QUANTITY, with the "Qualified Real" property, that sets the 
> units to an empty String. This approach is used in the "Harris Hip 
> Score" archetype (
> - Use a DV_PROPORTION, with the PROPORTION_KIND set to Unitary. This 
> approach is used in the "Waist and hip circumference" archetype 
> (
> In both cases, it seems we are forcing to use a data type that does 
> not really fit for purpose. Why don't we have something similar as the 
> DV_COUNT, but representing a real number and not an integer? Something 
> equivalent to the REAL data type in ISO 21090

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