Alive vs Dead

Thomas Beale thomas.beale at
Tue Jan 5 08:26:36 EST 2016

I think the orthodox openEHR view would be (see Chunlan's and Eric's 
responses particularly) :

  * demographic data would normally have a 'deceased status' and 'date
    of decease' which is the administrative knowledge of the patient's
    death, i.e. something recorded by provider admin staff
  * EHR data would include death as an event (as Shinji says) recorded
    by a doc, and if there is a persistent Composition containing basic
    patient clinical info (gender, DOB, etc) it would also go in there

The HL7 view could be understood as follows:

  * hL7v2 messages indicate changes of state in things; and I think will
    be mainly ADT oriented, i.e. correspond to the administrative change
    to the openEHR demographic data
  * FHIR's view is a query - meaning depends on what resource it is
    coming from; it could be administrative or clinical event (Grahame?)

- thomas

On 05/01/2016 06:43, Heather Leslie wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> Seeking some advice please.
> In the context of a data registry or research database to record if a 
> person is alive or dead. Maybe there might be an alternative value of 
> ‘unsure’ or ‘indeterminate’ as well, I guess.
> I’m wondering if there is any naming convention for this data element 
> – I’ve come across ‘Alive status’ and ‘Vital status’ by googling and 
> researching all the places I can think of. Surprisingly there seems 
> very little available on the topic. SNOMED CT has alive and dead 
> within the ‘General clinical state finding (finding)’ hierarchy, 
> although ‘deceased’ is part of the ‘Finding related to general body 
> function (finding)’ hierarchy.
> ‘Living status’ was proposed on a forum, but seems a bit weird if they 
> are dead.
> To add to the confusion, the requirements I am modelling uses the name 
> ‘Status’ (which needs some sort of archetype context) and the values 
> are ‘Alive’ and ‘Deceased’ which cross the SNOMED CT hierarchies!
> We could just be very pragmatic and label the data element ‘Alive vs 
> Dead?’
> Curious problem – I thought there would be more on the internets J.
> Any wisdom you can share would be most appreciated.
> And then I guess we need to think of related data elements that might 
> be grouped with this status.
> Regards

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