September 4, 2019

Patient Age Display, existing standards


Existing Standards

  • NHS CUI: Patient Age
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NHS CUI: Patient Age

The NHS CUI guidelines for the display of patient age is found Patient Banner Document (Version 2015).  Copy of original document here.

The document has a carefully thought out scale that explains how to display the age based on the patient’s birth date.


From  NHS CUI, Patient Banner 2015
View fullsizeFrom NHS CUI, Patient Banner 2015

Examples of the display of a patient’s age under 18 years

From  NHS CUI, Patient Banner 2015
View fullsizeFrom NHS CUI, Patient Banner 2015


As you can see from the above examples, the document specifies the following abbreviated terms:

abbreviated terms:  min, hr, d, w, m, y,  

full date terms:  minute, hour, day, week, month, year


The example above has an error. it displays 26hrs. This should read 26hr according to the NHS CUI Time Display document 2015. That document explains why the plural (hrs) should not be used.


The NHS CUI Time Display document also explains their rational for the use of no space between the age display value and the age display unit.

This is to (1) save space and (2) in the case of age display requiring a lower and higher unit (e.g. 4w 1d), having no space between the value and the unit makes it more clear which go together. As opposed to having a white space (e.g. 4 w 1 d ) where it less clear which values go with which unites).

Adoption: we will adopt, yet amend the above NHS CUI guidelines to improve their clarity. This is found in, Patient Age Display (EHR Conventions)

When displayed with the Birth Date

The patient age is displayed in parenthesis after the patient’s birth date.


Born 16-Jun-1983 (36y)

Born 04-Jul-2014 (5y 2m)

From the series Building the EHR

Section: Conventions / Patient Age Display

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