PCORnet Community Rallies to Launch New Version of Common Data Model

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PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, is pleased to announce the release of the newest iteration of its Common Data Model (CDM), CDM v3.1. Initially released in three deployments between 2014 and 2015, the CDM is a way of organizing PCORnet’s broad and diverse data into a standard structure to enable a more rapid response to research-related questions. Now on its fourth installment, the CDM continues to reflect the hard work and input of stakeholders across the spectrum of the PCORnet community; in fact, this latest iteration of the CDM was developed in just 11 weeks, achieving an aggressive timeline with key participation by its stakeholders.

“This quick turnaround reflects the PCORnet community’s engagement and cohesion in its efforts to furthering patient-centered research, and I am proud of us for achieving this rigorous CDM development timeline,” said Shelley Rusincovitch, project leader in Applied Informatics & Architecture, Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). “Ultimately, it is this type of collaborative spirit that will help PCORnet achieve its goal of bringing real-world insights to patients with greater speed and agility.”

Recognition of the need for early stakeholder engagement has been critical to the efficient and trustworthy development of the CDM. To ensure all stakeholders had a voice, PCORnet has established four different venues for feedback—a CDM Modeling Working Group, CDM Stakeholder Sessions, a CDM Implementation Forum and CDM Interest Groups—all dedicated to developing and improving each iteration of the CDM.

Unlike major releases such as CDM versions 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, CDM v3.1 is a minor release with incremental, yet important, improvements made over the 3.0 specification. The v3.1 minor release includes:

  • Four new fields (sexual orientation, gender identity, diagnosis origin, and medication prescribing unit)
  • An expanded “encounter types” value set to include observation stays and institutional professional consults
  • A collapsed value set of procedure terminologies so that current procedural terminology (CPT) and healthcare common procedure coding system (HCPCS) medical codes are grouped into a single category
  • Clarification around the expected number of digits for relational database management system (RDBMS) number formatting
  • Elimination of the date of death requirement field for death table
  • An enrollment table basis that now includes drug coverage

CDM v3.1 has been formally released and is publically available here; in addition, a lay version of the 3.0 model can be accessed here. This is an important milestone, and will be followed by development for implementation by PCORnet Clinical Data Research Networks (CDRNs). No immediate action needs to be taken by the PCORnet CDRNs and Patient Powered Research Networks (PPRNs), who will continue to use CDM v3.0 with the current cycle.


About PCORnet

PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, is an innovative initiative of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The goal of PCORnet is to improve the nation’s capacity to conduct clinical research by creating a large, highly representative network that directly involves patients in the development and execution of research. More information is available at www.pcornet.org.  


The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to continually seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work. More information is available at www.pcori.org.