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Re: [Health-dev] About name on Party

From: Luis Falcon
Subject: Re: [Health-dev] About name on Party
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2015 14:34:35 +0100

Hi Cedric

On Tue, 18 Aug 2015 19:52:05 +0200
Cédric Krier <address@hidden> wrote:

> Hi,
> First, if you are interesting in this discussion, I would like you
> read this [1] before going further.
> As one of the original author of the party module, I want to say that
> this background was known when we wrote the party module and the fact
> there is only one single name field was on purpose.
> So for me, the addition of the lastname field in health module is not
> correct because it is too locale specific.
> I tried to find where this distinction was needed in the health
> modules but I did not.

Good to resume the discussion we started a couple of weeks ago :)

When dealing with (physical) person demographics, we need to have a data
model that allow us to interact with other systems. 
Today GNU Health not only deals with people and health information
systems, but with civil offices (birth and death certs), and other

Today, most documents and forms (passports, civil certificates,
national IDs, clinical records ...) include different attributes for the
name (First, given, middle, last, mother's maiden name) , and it's
important that we can easily can interchange information with them.

> So for me, there are two options to make GNU Health works better all
> around the world:
> - Remove lastname field because we don't need it.
This would break interoperability .

As a matter of fact, in HL7, the human name elements should not
have spaces HL7[1]. Besides that, having all name elements in a single
field separated by spaces/commas, would need yet another convention
to know where is the given, last, middle name in the same field. Would
not work.

> - Change lastname field for a (or many) field(s) for which the usage
>   will be clearly defined like: "called name" for sending mail.

We can study this option. The problem I see with this method is that it
would take a toll on usability and operator time to enter data
(selecting the name element type ). We could minimize the impact by
having default selection values depending on the region.

We already have the "Alias" field for "called name" or nicknames.

At the end of the day, as with many other things, it's not always easy
to marry "standards" and cultures. Human naming conventions and naming
order is an anthropological matter, so localization would be important
for the "front-end", yet a universal "back-end" should allow to
exchange the information with different systems around the world. 

Today GNU Health pretty much cover the data elements for the human name
in the party model, so we can both enter the demographics information
and interact with external systems. Nevertheless, I'm positive there is
room for improvement.

Thanks for your input. I would like to get the feedback from the
community on this, especially colleagues from non-western cultures.
Great topic for the upcoming IWEEE [2] for those of you that are coming.



> [1]
> PS: I'm willing to work on this once an agreement will be reached.
> Thanks,

Luis Falcon, M.D.
GNU Health
Freedom and Equity in Health care
Join us at IWEEE 2015 : Social Medicine !

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