The Standard Vocabulary is a foundational tool developed by the OMOP team to enable transparent and consistent content across disparate observational databases, and serves to support the OMOP research community in conducting efficient and reproducible observational research.
The Standard Vocabulary contains all of the code sets, terminologies, vocabularies, nomenclatures, lexicons, thesauri, ontologies, taxonomies, classifications, abstractions, and other such data that are required for:
Using the vocabularies with your data
All content in your data, such as drugs or conditions, are referred to by concepts. You therefore need the Standard Vocabularies to understand and make use of these concepts. The Standard Vocabularies also provide you with additional class concepts, relationships and ancestry relationships between concepts and a source to concept map that you need to convert non-standard vocabularies to Standard Vocabularies during the ETL process of your data.
In order to use the Standard Vocabularies, you must load them into the database or SAS file system next to your data. For information about this, download the specifications, the DDL files and the vocabulary data files (see left panel).
Vocabularies undergo constant changes: concepts are created, improved or deprecated because of bug fixes, changes in the data sources or the underlying reality of health care. For example, new drugs are developed and enter the market, new procedures are invented, and new diagnostic codes are introduced. Same is true for relationships and mappings.
We therefore release the vocabulary files quarterly and provide Release Notes. Sometimes, interim releases are necessary for urgent bug fixes or additions. Check the release schedule regularly, or sign up for release notifications.
The process by which we build the Standard Vocabularies is available as Open Source. We encourage the community to help improve the vocabulary build process. If you find problems or know of a better way, contact OMOP with your input.
Querying the vocabulary
The Standard Vocabularies are organized with the goal in mind that all vocabularies are represented in the same fashion, no matter their origin. They can therefore be queried in a standardized fashion. OMOP is holding a collection of Standard Queries to answer typical questions relevant for data researchers, such as identification of conditions and drugs, membership in classifications, etc.
For the most part, vocabularies have been adapted from public or proprietary sources. There are very few vocabularies created de-novo by OMOP. All publically available Vocabularies are called "unrestricted" and are distributed in a file that is Open Source, licensed under the Apache License Version 2.0. Some third party vocabularies (called "restricted") are only available to be used for certain research purposes and an End User License Agreement (EULA) has to be executed. Please contact OMOP if you need access to the restricted licensed material (see table).
Latest Release Version 4.4 2014-04-11
All material unless otherwise specified (restricted) is licensed under the Apache License Version 2.0, making it available to the public as Open Source with minimal restrictions.