Concept Sharing Tools & OCC Session

Facilitator: Andy Kanter

(OCC = OpenMRS Concept Collaborative)

Attendees: James Arbaugh, Mark Goodrich, Darius Jazayeri, Win Ribeka, Evallyne (Nigeria) , Natu, Neal, Ada Yeung, Burke Mamlin, Ben Wolfe, Ellen Ball, Nicolas, Roger Friedman, Mike Seaton, Suny, Kemboi, Boniface Wabuti, John Kieti, Christian Newman, Rita, John Lelei, Gilbert , Paul Biondich


  • Advantages and disadvantages of sharing concepts
  • How to share concepts? How to import/export concepts?
  • What exists? – Concept mapping and OCC
  • Get concepts from others (for other diseases)
  • Multi-lingual/multi-national sharing
  • Talk about metadata sharing module
  • Can there be any cross-country concept sharing?
  • Where’s the progress?

Update on OCC (Ben Wolfe):
It’s been under development for three years. As the users create concepts, it’s automatically transferred to OCC server to browse all the concepts. Concepts will be merged if metadata matches. On your server, users should see mapping of OCC (unique OCC ID). Most of the workflow has existed since last year and we still need --a) an implementation site and b) 5% worth of coding.
OCC is not intended to be the master concept dictionary but a mapping warehouse. It is a grand bank of concepts. The ultimate goal is not to come up with a “perfect” concept dictionary. When a concept is mapped with highest count, it’ll be marked as preferred concept (i.e. you can see how many implementation sites have mapped to that particular concept). OCC module is available – it’s been tested on 1.5 but not on 1.6.

A feature for grouping or tagging of concepts exists. Different implementations can publish their concepts. Users can pick selected concepts from the OCC server.

OpenMRS hosts OCC on OpenMRS OCC domain (  There is an ambition for the WHO to host the OCC server.

Alternatives of concept sharing (Darius Jazayeri)
Raphael, GSOC student, built the metadata sharing module which is now in beta. For example, it allows you to choose TB screening form to export which the module is intelligent enough to tell it will need one encounter type and 50 concepts to xml which matches up with UUID.

Suggestions of to-do: publish four forms from AMPATH and PIH.

Concept mapping:
Use OCC to create some concepts users want and use this module to import form/concepts although there are some overlaps between the two.

Manual method (Andy Kanter):
MVP shares common dictionary among sites in 10 countries. Build a primary care program concept (RXNorm, SNOMED, ICD, .., etc.) to cover a broad collection of disease, …, etc. but not the actual questions. About 50,000 concepts so far which is available to share with others. Currently, MVP is not using 1.6 yet so it doesn’t come with UUIDs. However, MVP will provide a 1.6.1 version of the concept database along with the cross-maps to anyone who wants it. Just email him at

Maternal Health (Neal): Maternal Health Concept is a subset of MVP and AMPATH concept dictionary.

Other: Translation method which will soon be a module (through a website). If interested, talk to Andy Kanter.