ObservationDefinition and Device

Why there is a reference to Device in ObservationDefinition (ObservationDefinition.device). Shouldn’t it be to DeviceDefinition?

Hi Marek

ObservationDefinition.device is the specific instance of a measurement device used to produce observations of this type.

To try help you better understand the difference between Device and DeviceDefinition Let’s say in your Medical Facility you have devices for measuring body temperature, in your system you would define a DeviceDefinition called thermometer.

Each instance of these Devices will be defined in your system as being of type, i.e. DeviceDefinition, thermometer. Now when you record temperature measurements in your system, you don’t want to just say the temperature observation was measured using a thermometer; rather your want to be able to say this temperature observation was recorded using device #1, serial number xyz123 + any other device specific information that may be helpful e.g. expiration date, where applicable, and this other temperature observation was recorded by device #2, serial number abc456 etc.

Down the line this information could prove very useful. Rather than if you just recorded the temperature as having been recorded by a thermometer, without a record of exactly from which one of the 10s or 100s of thermometers you have in your health facility.

Hope that helps a bit?

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I think Marek’s question is reasonable. It would be unusual for an ObservationDefinition to point to the specific device instance that might be used - though it’s possible that in some hospitals you might indeed point to a single machine. At minimum, it should be possible to point to DeviceDefinition from ObservationDefinition. @Marek_Mlynarczyk, can you submit a change request?


I like the idea about possibility to point to the DeviceDefinition or Device.
I’ll submit change request (I just have to learn how to do it).

There’s a “propose a change” link at the bottom of each page in the spec. You’ll need to do a 1-time (free) registration where we verify you’re a real human, after which you can submit change requests at will

Thank you for your help.