THE NHS DATA DICTIONARY ELEMENTS
The NHS Data Dictionary and the NHS Data Manual were originally published separately. The elements of both these publications have been consolidated into one browsable integrated publication called the NHS Data Dictionary.
NHS Data Standards
The NHS Data Dictionary gives common definitions and guidance to support the sharing, exchange and comparison of information across the NHS. The common definitions, known as data standards, are used in commissioning and make up the base currency of Commissioning Data Sets (CDS). On the monitoring side, they support comparative data analysis, preparation of performance tables, and data returned to the Department of Health. NHS data standards also support clinical messages, such as those used for pathology and radiology. NHS data standards are presented as a logical data model, ensuring that the standards are consistent and integrated across all NHS business areas.
NHS data standards should not just be seen as supporting the collection of data on a consistent basis throughout the NHS. They also have an important role in supporting the flow and quality of information used in different parts of the NHS so that health care professionals are presented with the relevant information where and when it is required. An example of this is the linking of all records about a patient collected in different parts of the NHS, to be available to a health care professional wherever the patient attends to be seen for treatment, thus facilitating the Electronic Patient Record. Changes to NHS data standards are still being published as Data Set Change Notices (DSCNs) at the time of publication. The NHS Information Standards Board may eventually use a different form of change notification, but the principles of regulated changes will still apply.
See the NHS Information Standards Boards website for the latest information relating to the NHS Information Standards Boards.
The NHS Data Dictionary Elements
|Class Definitions||All the classes that appear within the NHS data standards logical data model. Each class contains its nationally agreed definition, all of its attributes, all relationships it has with other classes and a clickable link if a data element also exists for it.
|Attribute Definitions||All the attributes of the classes that appear within the NHS data standards logical data model. Each attribute contains its nationally agreed definition which may also include its agreed National Codes or classifications and a clickable link if a data element also exists for it.
|Data Elements||Data elements which may be supported by an class or attribute definition i.e the data element has the same name as an class or attribute, be a derived item which is derivable from classes and/or attributes or only exists as a data element.
Data elements are used in completion of CDS, CMDS, HES and Central Returns. The data element information comprises format and field length, HES name if applicable, National Codes or classifications and useful notes clarifying the selected data element.
|Model View Diagrams||The NHS data standards logical data model is too large to be represented in just one diagram showing all the defined classes and their relationships. Consequently the data model has been split into a number of separate diagrams, each representing a sub-set of the whole data model. Each diagram is referred to as a Model View and they are individually named and grouped by functional area heading.
Model View Diagram Menu
|Central Return Diagrams||The NHS data standards logical data model includes all the classes, attributes and relationships necessary to support the information required for Central Returns to ensure that returned information is consistent. A Central Return is represented by a diagram which contains the class types and their relationships which are required to support it. The Central Return Diagrams are grouped by functional area heading.
Central Return Diagram Menu
|CDS View Diagrams||The NHS data standards logical data model includes the Commissioning Data Set (CDS); all of which cannot be represented in just one diagram. Consequently the sub-set of the data model which supports the CDS has been split into a number of separate diagrams each representing a specific CDS Type. Each CDS Type view is represented by a diagram which contains the classes and their relationships which are required to support it.
CDS Diagrams Menu
|CDS and HES||Guidance on completion of Commissioning Data Sets (CDS) is not yet consolidated within CDS.
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) for information purposes (HES is now extracted automatically from the NHS-wide Clearing Service database).
CDS Type List Menu
|Datasets||The primary purpose of national datasets is to enable the same health information to be generated across the country independent of the organisation or system that captures it.
Datasets Middle Pane
Datasets Diagram Middle Pane.
|Central Return Forms||Guidance on completion of Central Returns for hospital activity, complaints management process, cervical and breast screening activity, patient transport and some community activity.
Central Return Menu
|Supporting Information||Supporting information such as clinical coding, organisation codes etc., is provided to help users understand the CDS and Central Returns.|