ENCOUNTER

  • This table is useful to determine if a patient had a visit/encounter.
  • The white paper that details how to define a denominator in the CPCSSN database (provide hyperlink) recommends using this table as one of the main tables to determine an active patient population.
  • It is not recommended that this table be used (via the encounter_ID) to link together the records within other tables to determine what happened within one encounter.
    • In theory, this is possible for some of the EMRs that we extract data from. However, for most of the EMRs, the records within the EMR are not linked together via an encounter_ID.
    • As such, it is not recommended that you use the encounter_ID to link different data pieces together into one encounter (use dates instead).
  • The most useful information within this table is the date (encounter date, or date created if missing).
  • This table does have information on the patient’s reason for visiting the primary care provider – often the information that was provided to the receptionist or administrative person when the appointment was made. However, this data is not cleaned and standardized, so if you want to be able to mine through that information you will need to request the reason_orig field.
  • Date variables: use Encounter Date (100% populated).

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