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Thereafter, we decided to created more tables in OpenMRS where we add _attribute to a domain object (like Person, Visit, Location, among others).  This approach of adding an x_attribute table (where x represents a domain object) has been repeated for several other domain objects (like Person, Visit, Location, Provider and Concept) for the same purpose.  Actually, the attribute definitions are stored in x_attribute_type and the actual values for each are stored in x_attribute.
If you take a look at the data model browser, you can see these attribute tables  as an example. The purpose is to allow local extensions to the data model without having to modify the shared (core) data model.