What’s the difference between a visit and an encounter?

Can you please clarify what’s the difference between a visit and a patient-provider encounter?

(@hmouhtar moving this to a new thread since it’s an OpenMRS data model question.)

You can start reading here for example: Visits, Encounters and FHIR

… but there’s many many more threads, discussions, wiki pages and self-documenting code snippets that give hints as to what visits and encounters are in OpenMRS.

@burke I’m sure you could point to the ex-cathedrae explanation that you have given somewhere already? :wink:

My layman take: a visit is made of a succession of clinical encounters occurring between its start date and its end date. Clinical data is recorded during those encounters: observations, conditions, diagnoses, allergies, drug orders, lab test orders, etc etc,. They are all attached to the encounter during which they were recorded.

An OpenMRS encounter represents a point in time interaction (a clinical transaction) that may contain any combination of orders, observations, form data, notes, encounter diagnoses, etc.

A visit is a collection of encounters that align with a clinical event (e.g., one or more encounters occurring during a patient’s visit to the clinic last Thursday) and can span days or weeks or more (e.g., an inpatient visit that started two weeks ago and comprises dozens of encounters containing daily notes & orders).


Thanks for the explanation, appreciate it! @burke

@hmouhtar some more on the topic actively discussed in the community recently: