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Our architectural standards support CIHI’s core business functions to acquire and analyze data and deliver quality analytical products. One of CIHI’s architectural standards is the CIHI Reference Data Model (CRDM).

CIHI Reference data model

The CRDM is a high-level, corporate-wide reference data model. This CIHI standard contributes to semantic interoperability (that is, common terminology and meaning, and data integration). The outcome: better health system use of data.   

The CRDM identifies

  • Concepts (categories of data) that are of interest to CIHI; concepts can be a person, thing, place or event
  • Relationships between the concepts
  • Core attributes—key information about each concept

There is also metadata associated with the CRDM that includes

  • Concept definitions
  • Core attribute definitions
  • Value domains or a list of permissible values for the core attributes
  • Concept relationship descriptions

Key resources

CRDM Toolkit

  • Background information needed to understand the CRDM
  • The data dictionary for the reference data model


  • A visual representation of the CRDM

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