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Value set editor

Creating new value sets

Editors of a project may create new value sets through the value set form.

Clicking on the TemplateEditor-plusbutton.png button opens the value set creation dialog. You have four options to populate a new value set:

  • Browse and use existing code systems like LOINC, etc.
  • Entering codes on your own manually
  • Use complete code systems (OID)
  • Add codes as exceptions, e.g. nullFlavors

Adding a Value Set is simple. If you have the corresponding permissions, the TemplateEditor-plusbutton.png button appears above the list of value sets (1).

Adding a Value Set

Value Set Editor Dialog

The Value Set Editor Dialog has three main parts:

  • metadata for the Value Set (1)
  • a selector to choose from Source Code System (2)
  • the Value Set Content (3).

The Value Set Content area has four parts:

  • Complete Code Systems (references with the Code System OID)
  • Values, i.e. Coded Concepts from official/proprietary existing code systems
  • Value Sets to be included in the Value Set
  • Exceptional Coded Concepts

Value Set Editor Dialog

Value Set Metadata

Value Sets have a couple of metadata to be determined:

  • a display name (1)
  • a busines name (2)
  • a full text description, optional (3)
  • and an optional Canonical URI (4)

The Value Set id is automatically derived from the Value Set Ids of the project (5).

Value Set Metadaten

Source Code System Selection

To select codes from a browsable Code System choose the desired System from the Source Code System Selection menu. A browser opens if clicking on "Select"

Source Code System Selection

Value Set Code System Browser

The Code System Browsers are more or less all equally designed: you type in a search term and get the results displayed. Selecting a concept (1) and clicking on "Add to valueset" (2) adds the corresponding Coded Concept to the Value Set (in the background). You can select another concept and add it until done.

Value Set Code System Browser

Value Set with Values

Once the selection of Coded Concepts for a Value Set is finished and the Code System Browser dialog is closed, the Coded Concepts chosen so far appear in the "Values" section of the Value Set Content area.

If you want to enter codes manually press the * button next to the "Values" Heading. This adds a new first row in the Values area and you can edit Level, Type, Code, Display name, Codesystem and Description.

The items have the following meaning:

  • Level of hierarchy
  • Type of node, either a selectable leaf node (L), a specializable head of a hierarchy (S), an abstract value as a head of a hierarchy (cannot be selected but is displayed as a grouper) or deprecated (D)
  • Code
  • Display Name
  • Code System OID
  • A full text description

Clicking on the + or - next to a row adds a new row under the selected row or deletes the row.

Value Set Values

Including other defined Value Sets in a Value Set

Another possibility to add Coded Concepts to the Value Set Content is to include other defined (and available) Value Sets. Clicking on the + next to the "Value Set Includes" heading opens a Value Set selection dialog and chosen Value Set content is added to the Content of the edited Value Set.

It is also possible to include the Coded Concepts from another Value Set as Exceptions (1) rather than normal Concepts.

Including another Value Set

Intensional expressions

Intensional expressions can be added:

  • Include or
  • Exclusion


The following operators are available:

  • is-a or << :: includes all concept ids that have a transitive is-a relationship with the concept Id provided as the value, including the provided concept itself (i.e. include child codes)
  • descendant-of or < :: includes all concept ids that have a transitive is-a relationship with the concept Id provided as the value, excluding the provided concept itself (i.e. include child codes)
  • is-not-a :: the specified property of the code does not have an is-a relationship with the provided value
  • regex :: the specified property of the code matches the regex specified in the provided value
  • in :: the select a set of concepts based on their membership of a (SNOMED CT) reference set


Value Set with Exceptions

The same mechanism is used to allow adding Exceptional Concepts (like nullFlavors in HL7 v3/FHIR) to the Value Set Content. For that purpose simply click on "Add as exception" in the Code System Browser.

The corresponding value set contains Values and Exceptions.

Value Set Exceptions


After finalization of all editing work click on "Save". This is an example what a resulting Value Set with Coded Concepts (1) and Exceptions (2) looks like.

Value Set with exceptions, ready for use

Creating a new version of a value set, based on a previous version

Typically value sets go through a production process where they are reviewed and publicated and before they are production-ready. The following overall flow usually applies:

  • Set the status of a value set to pre-publication review or final
  • During a review or from testing/production deployment change requests may create the need to perform edits on the value set. For instance: adding or deleting concepts from a value set.
  • Afterwards, if the value sset needs to be updated, a new version can be created where the older version is left unchanged and editing can be done in the newest version.

To create a new version of a value set, based on a previous version, the following steps can be performed:

  • Go to the Value Set form: terminology -> Value Sets
  • Select a value set from the value set list in the tree

Value Set selection

  • Set the status of a valueset to pre-publication review or final

Value Set setting status

  • A dialog is presented where you can add an optional Version Label:

Value Set setting status confirmation

  • Click: Set status to ‘pre-publication review’. After that the new status for the value set is shown in the value set detail view:

Value Set setting status shown

  • During (for example) the review change requests may lead to the need to edit the value set.
  • Create a new version of the value set (keeping the old one intact) by clicking Edit valueset

Value Set edit button

  • When editing, the following options are possible:

Value Set edit choice

In the example scenario where a change request leads to an update of an existing value set, we would choose Create new version to create a new version of the value set with a new datetime stamp.

  • Make your changes to the value set, for instance add or delete concepts and save the value set.
  • Refresh the value set viewer:

Value Set refresh

  • Now the value set is shown with multiple versions, in the dropdown behind the value set name:

Value Set with multiple versions

By selecting the datetime stamp, the different versions of the value set are shown.

Value set associations

With a valueset association it is possible to create a link between a dataset concept and a valueset. The workflow for setting up a valueset associations:

  • Go to datasets
  • Create a concept in the dataset with the type 'Code' and save it
  • Go to Terminology - tab Terminology associations
  • Select in the left concept tree the just created concept
  • Choose on the left of the 'valueset associations' the button: “Add”
  • Select the valueset to associate with
  • Make a choice:
    • Creating a static associations: associate to this version valueset (whereby the version is determined by the date of the valueset). In this choice some changes/version are possibly not associated with the dataset concept.
    • Creating dynamic associations: associate to this version valueset. If there is a new version valueset the dataset concept will still be associated with the latest version of the valueset.
  • Go to datasets, select the concept. Now it will display that there is a valueset association created and also on which date and time it is created.
  • When clicking on the link behind 'valueset associations' you'll be directed to the valueset itself.

Value set datamodel

Valueset datamodel.jpg

  • This page was last modified on 22 July 2021, at 11:02.
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