Multiple providers per encounter (Design Page)

This project is assigned to the OpenMRS 1.9 release milestone


Historically, encounters within OpenMRS only have allowed a single provider.  In many instances, there is more than one provider involved in an encounter.  For example, both a doctor and a nurse involved in an outpatient encounter or multiple surgeons involved in a surgical encounter.  The goal of supporting multiple providers per encounter is to allow for these people to be documented and connected to the encounter, including their role(s) within the encounter.



  • Provider: someone who provides care for patients.  Provider do not have to use or have access to the system (e.g., a provider could be a doctor at a hospital on the other side of the country used for referrals).  Must have at least name & identifier to be useful, though provider identifiers may vary by implementation/context.  Provider can link to a person, but will not extend person (i.e., provider_id ? person_id).
  • Encounter role: a role specific to the encounter.  While these could match up to existing organizational roles (e.g., "Nurse"), they don't have to (e.g., "Lead Surgeon").


  • Is person_id required or optional?
    • Required -- a person record must exist for every provider
    • Optional -- providers can be loaded without referring to a person (would require base demographics in provider table: name, identifier)
  • Where to put provider identifier(s)?  Do we wait for (or depend on) having person identifier?
  • Is codifying encounter role overkill?

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