This wiki has undergone a migration to Confluence found Here
<meta name="googlebot" content="noindex">

Observation vs Condition

From HL7Wiki
Revision as of 02:22, 11 October 2014 by StephenChu (talk | contribs)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Return to: Patient Care

Return to: FHIR Patient Care Resources


From the perspective of HL7, the great majority of clinical information falls under the category of "observation". The distinction between general observations (such as signs, symptoms, blood pressure, body temperature, body weight, height, etc), imaging/laboratory test results, problems, diagnosis is achieved through the use of vocabularies.

Extensive debates between clinicians and FHIR team occurred over a period of at least 3 workgroup meetings on whether "problem" and "diagnosis" are structurally different from modelling perspective from the concept - "observation".

Eventually, the FHIR team agreed to create a "condition" FHIR resource to represent "problem" and "diagnosis", and the "observation" FHIR resource to represent general observation findings.

However the question of whether there is any difference between "observation" and "condition" never goes away and has been raised many times since.

The clinical and FHIR communities agree that there is a high need to clearly define these concepts and determine their differentiating characteristics from the clinical and engineering perspectives.

Definitions and Examples

  • Observation:
- Dictionary definition: "the act of watching somebody/something carefully for a period of time, especially to learn something"
- Source: