Vocabulary Access and Distribution System (VADS)

At a glance

PHIN VADS is a web-based enterprise vocabulary system for accessing, searching, and distributing vocabularies used in public health and clinical care practice. It promotes the use of standards-based vocabulary to support the exchange of consistent information among CDC and its public health partners.

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Currently, there are 215 code systems, 1,944 value sets, 103 views and more than 5 million concepts in PHIN VADS based on the code system/domain recommendations and value set recommendations from Health Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) C80 specification (retired April 2010).

Users can access and view vocabularies in the context of public health with file download options for Value Sets, Value Set Concepts, Views and Groups available in a tab-delimited text format and also in Microsoft Excel format (additional download file formats are scheduled for a future release of PHIN VADS). The main purpose of PHIN VADS is to distribute the value sets associated with HL7®message implementation guides.

To access PHIN VADS, go to: http://phinvads.cdc.gov.

Release notes detailing changes of content and/or application updates in the current PHIN VADS release can be found in the PHIN VADS application via the 'Release Notes' link in the left navigation pane.

PHIN VADS Content and Resources

PHIN VADS provides all the vocabulary metadata needed for HL7®Messaging or Clinical Document Architecture (CDA). Users can navigate and download value sets based on HL7®Implementation Guides or PHIN Vocabulary Groups (Domains).

Frequently Used PHIN VADS Content (Hot Topics)

PHIN VADS provides quick access to commonly and frequently used value sets and messaging guide vocabulary views in the home page (https://phinvads.cdc.gov) under "Hot Topics." Some of the hot topics are listed below:

  1. RCMT Reportable Condition Mapping Table (RCMT) provides mapping between conditions and its associated lab test and results.
  2. Public Health Meaningful Use vocabulary (Electronic Laboratory Reporting [ELR], Immunization and Syndromic Surveillance)
  3. NHSN Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) – All the value sets associated with National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) – Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) – Release 5.
  4. PHLIP Flu Lab Report Vocabulary All the value sets associated with PHLIP Flu lab report HL7®message implementation guide.

PHIN VADS Web Service

The PHIN VADS web site is powered by an open web service that can be directly consumed by third party applications. These web services are public and built upon open standards such as HL7®Common Terminology Services (CTS) and IHE Sharing Value Set (SVS).

The VADS Web Service consists of an interface that defines the web methods that are available, the domain objects that represent vocabulary information, and data transfer objects (DTOs) to transfer data to and from the web service. Custom programs, applications, or data extraction scripts can be written to directly use PHIN VADS Web Services.

A sample web service code and a detailed application program interface (API) are available in the PHIN VADS Developer's Toolkit at the following PHIN VADS site: https://phinvads.cdc.gov/vads/developersGuide.action.

Contacting Us

To report issues or questions contact the VADS team at phinvs@cdc.gov. Enhancement Requests/Defect Reports can also be submitted to the PHIN VADS team using this same email address with the subject header: Enhancement or Defect.