Are Chief Complaints a Condition or Observation?

In the Resource Guide it indicates that it’s a condition. However, the Condition resource says the following

This resource is not typically used to record information about subjective and objective information that might lead to the recording of a Condition resource. Such signs and symptoms are typically captured using the Observation resource

Where do you typically store subjective information such as Chief Complaints, History of Present Illness etc?


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Something being a ‘chief complaint’ or ‘history of present illness’ are actually relationships between a Condition and an Encounter. The same Condition might be a chief complaint for multiple encounters, but only part of the history for others. The Encounter.diagnosis.use helps differentiate.

Whether you choose to represent something as a Condition or an Observation sort of depends on what it is. However, there is a fuzzy boundary. Sometimes ‘pain’ is an Observation. Sometimes it’s worth elevating to a Condition as something a clinician wants to track and manage over time.