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The type information observations record is specified by the Concept used by the Observation. So first, look through the list of available complex data types to

see if your system has a data type which meets your needs. Or alternatively, if you have been told to use a specific concept which already exists, then do so.


Currently, complex handlers available by default are, 

  • ImageHander
  • TextHandler
  • PatientHandler
  • LocationHandler 


Note that the use of the term ‘PatientHandler’ and ‘LocationHandler’ do not specifically mean that your system makes use of the basic PaientHandler, and not PatientFieldGenObshandler.

The FieldGenObsHandlers are included in the trunk by default, and are normally assigned a higher priority than the base layer handlers.


In this case, the term PatientHandler and LocationHandler means that your system will allow you to record patient and location types at least in the most basic level. This means that at worst,

when creating a complex Obs using a patient concept, you will be asked to input the patient ID number as the value.


However do note that the newly created obs is not tied to the handler class used to create it. For example, an Obs created using the basic PatientHandler can be viewed and edited using PatientFiedGenObsHandler,

and vice versa.

Consider if any of these handlers, or other basic data types such as numerics, text or concepts etc. will meet your requirements. If not, do consider creating and registering a handler class of your own. 

Once you have decided on a handler, you must either create a new concept, or as earlier, use one which has already been created.


Creating a Complex Concept is a very straightforward process.

  1. Go to the ‘Add new Concept’ page  (/openmrs/dictionary/concept.form)
  2. Select ‘Complex’ from the data type drop down list
  3. Select a suitable handler from the drop down list
  4. Input all required data
  5. Click ‘save’ 


After you have done so, you may use this Concept to create a Complex Obs.

  1. Go to the ‘Add Observation’ page (/admin/observations/obs.form)
  2. Select your concept
  3. Input all required data
  4. Click ‘Save’ 

Please note that both complex concepts and complex obs can be voided, edited and un voided. 

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