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An encounter is an interaction between a patient and healthcare provider for the purpose of providing care, including assessment of care needs. Encounters are the mainstay of care provision and the concept covers encounters in any care domain. For example, a GP consultation is an encounter and an in-patient stay is an encounter. Encounters are often defined according to the publisher’s definition or even the nature of the IT system in use. In the DDS, an encounter model is a superset of the different encounter models from the different domains and systems. The different patterns are differentiated by the use of Encounter types or archetypes. For example, a hospital stay would be considered an encounter. The admission and discharge events are also considered an encounter, subsidiary to the hospital stay encounter. Similarly, an accident and emergency attendance may have a subsidiary encounter for the initial assessment. The additional properties relating to encounter types (such as method of admission, or critical care function type) are considered as non-core and are referenced via the information model concepts. Each property type has a concept and each value class is considered concept. Consequently these are not specified in this document but are available via the ontology.

Encounter: (inherits patient event)
Field Description
Encounter type The overall nature of the encounter mapped to the encounter type ontology.
Completion status Concept: The status of the encounter when the event is sent. It can be completed, ongoing, or planned. In some systems, encounters are created before they start.
End date/time The date or time that the encounter ended.
Duration The duration can be estimated in the absence of an explicit start and end time.
Providing organisation/services or departments Additional department and/or services that define the encounter more fully than the main organisation.
For example, an entry could have a main organisation of Royal London, but the encounter took place in the Royal London A&E department.
Location Actual location of the encounter such as a physical building, wing, ward, or room/bed. In most cases this may not be known because the organisation itself implies a location.

For example, a branch surgery of a GP practice or bed 1, Ward 10.

Linked appointment The appointment related to this encounter.
Subsidiary of The encounter that this encounter is part of.
Linked care episodes The care episode that this encounter is linked to.
Additional practitioners Additional practitioners other than the main attributed practitioner involved in this encounter.