openEHR Terminology


This page provides access to the XML computable expression of the openEHR terminology, and a set of tools to support the use of this terminology in a variety of contexts including the Archetype Editor. The openEHR terminology is an adjunct to the openEHR reference and archetype models, and provides code sets and vocabularies needed by the models which are language independent. It is not a "real-world" ontology of any kind - i.e. it does not contain representation of facts in areas such as diseases or biochemistry - this is the job of much larger terminologies such as ICDx, ICPC, SNOMED-CT and so on.

The file contains:
It does, presently, include the translations of all languages - this will be handled in separate files in future.

File design

The concepts are provided in a file called Terminology.xml with an associated schema, Terminology.xsd. The schema is an XML schema - documentation of this file is provided.  The file and schema are provided here.


Tools for manipulating the terminology have been developed for the openEHR Foundation by Ocean Informatics. Two tools are provided to manage this small terminology. Please note that the Terminology tool is provided for interest - any wanting to translate or alter this termset needs to contact Ocean Informatics to ensure the upgrade is coordinated. The Translation tool can be used independently, submitting the translated Terminology.xml file to Ocean Informatics for incorporation into the main file. (As explained above, the language specific files will be distributed separately in future). The files are:
  1. The openEHR Terminology tool which allows the user to expand the terminology, add groups and edit any concepts in any language. This tool includes the translation tool.
  2. The openEHR Translation tool which allows the user to translate the terminology to a new language. This can display all terms, or only those that are requiring translation.
To download the files please click on the links below. The tools are provided as .Zip files, but are actually .exe's - they need to be saved and run in the same directory as the Terminology.xml file.

Work to be done

The current design of this small terminology is adequate for the purpose but there are a lot of potential improvements to this design. The most critical of these is to separate the language specific terms from the master concepts and groups. The current tools are written in VB.Net by Ocean Informatics - the source code of these applications can be made available to those seeking to improve this terminology. This terminology is presently being incorportated into a CTS compatible terminology service.


This work has been carried out by Ocean Informatics for the openEHR Foundation.

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