UIN - Keeping Track of Individuals

Hello, I’m going to try and explain this as best as possible.

I would like to create a unique identifying number for every individual
that fills out a form. Now this can be a random number (but cannot be
duplicated), or it can be comprised of other fields (i.e. first initials of
last name plus year from date of birth and a m/f for gender = IM1963M).
This UIN would be useful because it would allow us to determine whether or
not that individual has previously received services from us.

I’ve also considered opening a case for every individual and having the
person who is filling out the form look up the individual every time to
determine whether or not that person has previously received services, but
the case would only serve this purpose. Which do you all think would be
better? Ideally I would like to know how to go about creating a UIN. Any
help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  • Irwin

Hi Irwin,

Many of our partners have done something similar to the UIN you proposed.
People have had success comprising the ID of other fields like you
suggested - as long as those fields lead to the id actually being unique.
You can use the “concat” function to create these kinds of ids (read more
here:
https://help.commcarehq.org/display/commcarepublic/CommCare+Functions#CommCareFunctions-concat
)

Where are you planning on looking up whether or not a patient has received
services before? If it’s on the case list on your phone, this will only
include open cases. It’s important to have a way to close cases on the
phone so that they don’t build up over time.

Thanks,
Amelia

··· On Mon, Sep 22, 2014 at 5:31 PM, Irwin wrote:

Hello, I’m going to try and explain this as best as possible.

I would like to create a unique identifying number for every individual
that fills out a form. Now this can be a random number (but cannot be
duplicated), or it can be comprised of other fields (i.e. first initials of
last name plus year from date of birth and a m/f for gender = IM1963M).
This UIN would be useful because it would allow us to determine whether or
not that individual has previously received services from us.

I’ve also considered opening a case for every individual and having the
person who is filling out the form look up the individual every time to
determine whether or not that person has previously received services, but
the case would only serve this purpose. Which do you all think would be
better? Ideally I would like to know how to go about creating a UIN. Any
help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  • Irwin


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"commcare-users" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
email to commcare-users+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.

Also for every case created, CommCare assigns a unique alphanumeric string
called caseID. It looks something like this:
‘43420d7a-17fa-438f-af96-17dd05d60fcf’.

Is there a possibility that you could reuse for your purposes? Cons being
that it’s not human readable, doesn’t follow any specific format, etc. But
if all the processing will be done in automated fashion (like doing Joins
in SQL), then caseID might be good enough.

Otherwise you can try to create your own UIN. One caveat with having a
structure to UID (eg, IM1963M) is that it’s brittle in nature. If you
decide to change the format once the system is deployed (which is common),
it leads to lot of headaches since half your data is in old format, some in
new format, etc.

Thanks!
Abhishek

··· On Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 3:46 AM, Amelia Sagoff wrote:

Hi Irwin,

Many of our partners have done something similar to the UIN you proposed.
People have had success comprising the ID of other fields like you
suggested - as long as those fields lead to the id actually being unique.
You can use the “concat” function to create these kinds of ids (read more
here:
https://help.commcarehq.org/display/commcarepublic/CommCare+Functions#CommCareFunctions-concat
)

Where are you planning on looking up whether or not a patient has received
services before? If it’s on the case list on your phone, this will only
include open cases. It’s important to have a way to close cases on the
phone so that they don’t build up over time.

Thanks,
Amelia

On Mon, Sep 22, 2014 at 5:31 PM, Irwin imendoza@mhpsalud.org wrote:

Hello, I’m going to try and explain this as best as possible.

I would like to create a unique identifying number for every individual
that fills out a form. Now this can be a random number (but cannot be
duplicated), or it can be comprised of other fields (i.e. first initials of
last name plus year from date of birth and a m/f for gender = IM1963M).
This UIN would be useful because it would allow us to determine whether or
not that individual has previously received services from us.

I’ve also considered opening a case for every individual and having the
person who is filling out the form look up the individual every time to
determine whether or not that person has previously received services, but
the case would only serve this purpose. Which do you all think would be
better? Ideally I would like to know how to go about creating a UIN. Any
help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  • Irwin


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"commcare-users" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
email to commcare-users+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"commcare-users" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
email to commcare-users+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.

Thank you both for your responses! After some consideration I think we will
be proceeding with the following approach.: having a UIN consist of several
fields, and opening a case for every participant. Then in order to
determine if services were previously received, using the case list to gain
some information about previous encounters. The next question being of
course what Amelia mentioned, how to close a case. Is there a way to close
a case after a certain period of time or “manually” from the back end? Or
must a case be closed based on a value in a field/completion of form?