Healthcare Data Dictionary

Researchers often ask questions such as:

Of the patients with a diagnosis of 123.45, I want to know who was on ampicillin.

A request for a general category like the above is nearly impossible without hours spent sifting through the medication dictionary and choosing one by one the needed medications. Wildcard searches are inaccurate due to misspellings, abbreviations, and unwanted combination medications.

Using the 3M Healthcare Data Dictionary (HDD), medications can be broken into their components and ingredients. This allows a requestor to be as granular as needed.

  • E.g., only ampicillin given in injection form.
  • Or all penicillin given orally.
  • Or all penicillins.

Data is not directly mapped to a specific standard. Rather, it is mapped to a specific 3M item which has many attributes or concepts. Medications can be a part of many national standards, or none at all. This allows flexibility; Penn can include research drugs that do not appear in standards yet.