Help: Data Elements

A Data Element is the definition of the information which is usually transmitted in a Data Set.

In addition, Data Elements can contain text providing guidance, support, values or other information concerning the Data Element and its usage.

Each Data Element:

  • Has a Green Bar to signify that it is a Data Element;
  • Name is in UPPERCASE and where the name appears in text in GREEN, it indicates that it is a hyperlink and if clicked on will display the definition for that Data Element.

The following information is available on an Data Element:

  • "Description" tab: a definition of the Data Element which provides hyperlinks to other related definitions.

    • Format/Length:
      • An entry in this field defines the format and length of the Data Element.
      • The character set used for Data Elements is the UTF-8 standard (Unicode Transformation Format-8).
      • The number indicates the field length of the Data Element.

    • National Codes:
      • An entry in this field indicates that National Codes or classifications exist for the Data Element (as an Attribute) and describes how to view them.
      • If there are no agreed National Codes or classifications for the Data Element, the field is blank.

    • Default Codes:
      • An entry in this field indicates that in addition to the agreed National Codes for the Data Element, there are default codes applicable to that Data Element only.
      • If there are no Default Codes for the Data Element, the field is blank.

    • Notes:
      • The Notes section provides guidance or other information concerning the Data Element and its usage.
      • The table at the foot of the page shows if there is an alias for this Data Element, e.g. schema name etc.

  • "Where Used" tab: every item where the Data Element is used within the NHS Data Model and Dictionary.

  • "Attribute" tab: the Attribute the Data Element is based on.
    • Most Data Elements are linked to Attributes so they can share the common Attribute definition. For example, NHS NUMBER, NHS NUMBER (BABY) and NHS NUMBER (MOTHER) are based on the one Attribute of NHS NUMBER.
    • Not all Data Elements are based on an Attribute. Some Data Elements are derived from other items, for example, AGE ON ADMISSION is a derived item and is not linked to an Attribute.

What would you like to do next?

  •  NHS Data Model and Dictionary Content

View Data Elements in the NHS Data Model and Dictionary.

  •   Demonstrations

For a demonstration on Data Elements, see the Data Elements Demonstration.

Please note that you will need flash player to view these demonstrations. If you do not have flash player, contact your organisation's technical support for further information.

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