Opal Episodes

In Opal a Patient may have one or many Episodes. An Episode contains some metadata such as a start and end date, and the type of episode. This may be an inpatient stay, an outpatient treatment, a telephone consultation - or any other arbitrarily defined period of care.

Episode Categories

An episode must have a related category. An Opal EpisodeCategory is a discoverable subclass of opal.core.episodes.EpisodeCategory - such as InpatientEpisode, OutpatientEpisode or LiaisonEpisode.

You can access the current category of an episode via the category property, while it is represented in the database in the field category_name which will contain the display_name attribute of the relevant category.

episode = patient.episode_set.first()
print episode.category
# <{{ your app name }}.InpatientEpisode object>

print episode.category.display_name
# "Inpatient"

print episode.category_name
# "Inpatient"

Detail templates

The category of an episode determines which template will be used to display it on the detail page for the patient. This template is determined by looking up the detail_template attribute of the EpisodeCategory.

The Episode Category template does not comprise the entire Patient detail view. This is made of multiple episodes and by default will display some basic demographic details as well as other episodes. More detail on customising the rest of the detail tempalte is found in the detail view Template selection docs.

Default Category

The default category of episodes in an Opal application is set by the OpalApplication object's default_episode_category property.

class Application(application.OpalApplication):
    default_episode_category = MyCategory.display_name

Defining your own EpisodeCategory

As EpisodeCategory is a discoverable we can define our own to meet custom requirements.

Episode categories should be defined in a file named episode_categories of your application or plugin.

# yourapp/episode_categories.py

from opal.core import episodes

class DropInClinicEpisode(episodes.EpisodeCategory):
    display_name = "Drop-in clinic"
    detail_template = "detail/drop_in.html"


The field .active is used to distinguish Episodes which are ongoing. This field is set implicitly by the Episode.save() method, and there will generally be no need to set this field directly as part of application code.

Whether an Episode is considered active is determined by the .is_active() method of the relevant EpisodeCategory.

The default implementation considers any Episode without an .end date to be active and any Episode with one to be inactive.

Applications may customise this behaviour by overriding the .is_active() method.

For instance, to create a category which considered any Episode older than 2 weeks to be inactive, one might override the method as follows:

# yourapp/episode_categories.py
import datetime
from opal.core import episodes

class TwoWeeksAndStopCaringEpisode(episodes.EpisodeCategory):
    def is_active(self):
        delta = datetime.date.today() - self.episode.start
        return bool(delta >= datetime.timedelta(days=14))

(Note that this would not alter the value in the database immediately after those 2 weeks, but would alter the value the next time the Episode.save() method was called.)

Episode stages

An Episode will frequently consist of a number of possible stages. For instance, for an inpatient episode, a patient will first be an inpatient, and then an be discharged, with an optional interim follow up stage for inpatients who have been discharged but requrie further follow up.

Opal stores the stage of an episode as a string in the stage property of an Episode. The valid possible stages for a category are accessed from the get_stages method of the category.

# ['Inpatient', 'Followup', 'Discharged']

# True