Historically, encounters within OpenMRS only have allowed a single provider. In many instances, there is more than one provider involved in an encounter. For example, both a doctor and a nurse involved in an outpatient encounter or multiple surgeons involved in a surgical encounter. The goal of supporting multiple providers per encounter is to allow for these people to be documented and connected to the encounter, including their role(s) within the encounter.
- Provider: someone who provides care for patients. Provider do not have to use or have access to the system (e.g., a provider could be a doctor at a hospital on the other side of the country used for referrals). Must have at least name & identifier to be useful, though provider identifiers may vary by implementation/context. Provider can link to a person, but will not extend person (i.e., provider_id ? person_id).
- Encounter role: a role specific to the encounter. While these could match up to existing organizational roles (e.g., "Nurse"), they don't have to (e.g., "Lead Surgeon").
- Is person_id required or optional?
- Required -- a person record must exist for every provider
- Optional -- providers can be loaded without referring to a person (would require base demographics in provider table: name, identifier)
- Where to put provider identifier(s)? Do we wait for (or depend on) having person identifier?
- Is codifying encounter role overkill?