Tracking Referents in Electronic Health Records

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Abstract
Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are organized around two kinds of statements: those reporting observations made, and those reporting acts performed. In neither case does the record involve any direct reference to what such statements are actually about. They record not: what is happening on the side of the patient, but rather: what is said about what is happening. While the need for a unique patient identifier is generally recognized, we argue that we should now move to an EHR regime in which all clinically salient particulars – from the concrete disorder on the side of the patient and the body parts in which it occurs to the concrete treatments given – should be uniquely identified. This will allow us to achieve interoperability among different systems of records at the level where it really matters: in regard to what is happening in the real world. It will also allow us to keep track of particular disorders and of the effects of particular treatments in a precise and unambiguous way. We discuss the ontological and epistemological aspects of our claim and describe a scenario for implementation within EHR systems.
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Archival date: 2019-08-09
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Strategies for Referent Tracking in Electronic Health Records.Werner Ceusters & Barry Smith - 2006 - Journal of Biomedical Informatics 39 (3):362-378.
Introduction: What is Ontology For.Katherine Munn - 2008 - In Munn Katherine & Smith Barry (eds.), Applied Ontology: An Introduction. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 7-19.
Referent Tracking for Digital Rights Management.Werner Ceusters & Barry Smith - 2007 - International Journal of Metadata, Semantics and Ontologies 2 (1):45-53.

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