Rationale behind certain configuration

Hi all,

While looking at event or tracker programs in demos, I realize that some dates are configured as either attributes or data elements in program stages

What is the rationale behind certain dates being configured as attributes or data elements? I am seeking a detailed explanation

Looking forward to a reply


Hi Fernando,

It really depends on how often they’ll change. Attributes are attached to the Tracked Entity (eg a patient), so you just capture them once and then they persist over time - eg a patient’s date of birth or the date they were initiated into ART.

Whereas data elements are attached to an event (specific point in time), so may be captured repeatedly over time - eg the date that a symptom first started or the date scheduled for a patient’s next visit.

You wouldn’t want to capture date of birth as a data element, as you’d need to recapture the same date again and again, every time the patient visited; likewise, you wouldn’t want to capture the date that a symptom first started as an attribute, as each time you update that patient attribute, you’ll have to overwrite/replace the previous date that was there, losing the data from the previous visit.

Cheers, Sam.