Sentinel Common Data Model

    Basic Details
    Date Posted
    Tuesday, December 8, 2020

    The Sentinel Operations Center (SOC) coordinates the network of Sentinel Data Partners and leads development of the Sentinel Common Data Model (SCDM), a standard data structure that allows Data Partners to quickly execute distributed programs against local data. The SOC manages creation of the Sentinel Distributed Database (SDD) using the SCDM and maintains complete documentation of the implementation and characteristics of the SDD. 

    The SCDM was developed in accordance with the Mini-Sentinel Common Data Model Guiding Principles and was modeled after the Health Care Systems Research Network (formerly known as HMO Research Network) Virtual Data Warehouse.

    Both major and minor revisions and enhancements to the SCDM are made on a regular basis, including the addition of clinical information, incorporation of other data types and sources, and revisions based on lessons learned from use of the SDD. This may include adopting variables and formats developed by other programs.

    Due to current public health needs, SOC is maintaining two models concurrently: SCDM v7.1.0 and SCDM v8.0.0. Both versions of the model represent information for data elements needed for Sentinel activities.

    The SCDM v7.1.0 includes 13 tables. 

    • Records are linked across tables by a unique person identifier, PatID. 
    • SCDM v7.1.0 represents a minor enhancement of the SCDM. Primarily, the Laboratory Result Table was updated to add allowable values to several existing variables in order to include new COVID-19 diagnostic test results. SCDM v7.1.0. revisions from v7.0.0 are listed in the “History of Modifications” page of the SCDM v7.1.0 documentation.  
    • Details of the 13 tables are provided in the SCDM v7.1.0 documentation.

    The SCDM v8.0.0 includes 16 tables. 

    • Several identifiers are used to link records across tables: a unique person identifier, PatID, a unique provider identifier, ProviderID, and a unique encounter identifier, EncounterID. 
    • SCDM v8.0.0 represents a major enhancement of the SCDM with several updates from the SCDM v7 series. These include: (1.) creation of new tables, Prescribing, Facility, and Provider, (2.) setting certain variables to numeric data type with as short a variable length as needed to capture all values, and (3.) ensuring all identification variable names end with "ID".  Additional modifications to other tables are detailed on the "Model Change" page within SCDM v8.0.0. documentation.
    • Details of the 16 tables are provided in the SCDM v8.0.0 documentation.

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    For prior versions of the SCDM, contact the Sentinel Operations Center at