Proposing a better name for "OCL for OpenMRS": the "OpenMRS Concept Manager"

Proposal: Let’s rename “OCL for OpenMRS” to “the OpenMRS Concept Manager”, or something else more clear.


  • The name “OCL for OpenMRS” consistently proves confusing both for new users and even causes internal confusion (people often say “OCL” when they really mean “OCL for OpenMRS”).
  • Users & Decision Makers consistently seem confused about the difference between a Terminology Service and the OCL for OpenMRS product. We help them understand this by explaining that OCL for OpenMRS enables concept management. Eventually the message gets through but it takes time and attention.
  • The OCL Team has recently launched the OCL “Terminology Browser”, which is a nice self-explanatory name.
  • Having clear names like the “Terminology Browser” and the “Concept Manager” could really help with near-instant understanding of which problems these tools each solve. This clear, explicit naming could also help us eventually consolidate effort with the OCL team on having a shared Concept Manager app one day in the future (maintained by both the OCL and OpenMRS community).

FWIW, a good product name should:

  1. be self-explanatory: help users immediately get a sense of what the product does self-explanatory and
  2. use words users already use to describe the problem. We consistently see that phrases like “manage your concepts” resonates for the audience we talk to about OCL for OpenMRS.

I joked that the name “Conceptualizer” could be a good name too, but “Concept Manager” better fits criteria 1 and 2 above. Open to other ideas!

@paynejd @akanter @michaelbontyes @ball @suruchi @ibacher @hadijah315 @jwnasambu @mogoodrich what do you think of this proposal? Any other suggestions?

@paul @wanyee - would this clearer name help in your conversations with funder and ministry stakeholders as well?


+1 for OpenMRS Concept Manager.

Likely it will be abbreviated to OCM – which seems harmless and similar to OCL.

FYI @darius


+1 from me, especially with @ball’s endorsement

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I love it! And if we need a catchy brand name, we could use “razor” so we could refer to it as OCM Razor. Very fitting indeed! :wink:

“entities should not be multiplied without necessity"

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+1 from me. OCM- OpenMRS Concept Manager

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Thanks for starting this important conversation. What’s in a name?:slightly_smiling_face: Your observations about the confusion is absolutely correct. To add to the confusion, I have noticed the use “National Health Data Dictionary” in conversations and in official documents, for example in an eHealth Bill which is currently user development in Kenya. The terms “concept” and “Terminology” “Metadata” are still not well understood beyond the people we interact regularly with for example within OpenMRS.

However, “OpenMRS Concept Manager” / “OpenMRS Concept Dictionary Manager” is much better and potentially easier to under than “OCL for OpenMRS”.

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+1 from me too. it really brings out what the application does.

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I think it is important that it stays OpenMRS-centric, and that it needs to address both dictionaries and sources (concepts). It is true that OpenMRS concept manager doesn’t necessarily include dictionaries/collections and sources, OpenMRS concept dictionary manager (OCDM) seems to be all encompassing (it we include sources as a specific type of dictionary) :slight_smile:

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For the record, I think the decision was made to adopt the name “OpenMRS Dictionary Manager”, right @grace?

Yes, that’s correct. Turns out that higher level stakeholders are tending to use the phrase “Health Data Dictionary” before “concept” becomes a part of their vocabulary.

So we have decided on “the OpenMRS Dictionary Manager”!