Representing a Real value in openEHR

David Moner damoca at
Tue Mar 17 06:39:52 EDT 2015

Well, as the openEHR data types specification document says, think of an
archetype representing some statistical values such a covariance.
It is clear that the DV_QUANTITY is the most appropriate solution right
now, but does not seem safe to rely on setting an empty unit to represent
just  a Real number

2015-03-17 11:23 GMT+01:00 Thomas Beale <thomas.beale at>:

> 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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David Moner Cano
Grupo de Informática Biomédica - IBIME
Instituto ITACA

Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (UPV)
Camino de Vera, s/n, Edificio G-8, Acceso B, 3ª planta
Valencia - 46022 (España)
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