The RCPCH Digital Growth Chart API is stateless, meaning it does not persist any data about the measurements sent to it. This is a crucial part of the API’s privacy design, and has enabled us to keep the MVP development very simple and constrained to solving the specific problem in front of us.
It is the responsibility of the consuming application to store the measurements. This is the logical place to store data about the child since this consuming application will already have other stored data about the child within it, such as demographics.
We encourage the use of the appropriate standards when recording the returned data. In the UK, the Professional Records Standards Body (PRSB) has developed standards for recording of Healthy Child Records
You can see the entire standard on their site, but the relevant parts from a Measurement point of view are in the Observations and National Child Measurement Programme sections
As you can see this should be regarded as an absolute minimal data set. Depending on the kind of application you are building and its intended audience, you will likely want to persist some or all of:
- the relevant measurement units used.
- some form of clinical terminology (SNOMED-CT recommended for UK use)
- the date and time of the calculation, the raw data (eg height)
- the calculated returned parameter (eg height centile)
- other returned parameters that you get such as corrected age for gestational age.
- the version of the API that you used.
- free text for the parent or clinician to comment on the measurement.
|National Child Measurement Programme|
|NCMP Withdrawal Reason|
In most of the UK we have moved to using SNOMED-CT as a national standard. The Centile API returns suggested terminology for each of the parameters available, which you can use to store the data items in a structured way.
Storing the data in a structured form allows the data to be machine-readable and even machine-interpretable to some extent, which enables:
- audits of small or large population group measurements
- research into trends in child growth on a national or international scale
- clinical decision support