ARGOS policy brief on semantic interoperability

Studies in Health Technology and Informatics 170 (1):1-15 (2011)
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Semantic interoperability requires the use of standards, not only for Electronic Health Record (EHR) data to be transferred and structurally mapped into a receiving repository, but also for the clinical content of the EHR to be interpreted in conformity with the original meanings intended by its authors. Accurate and complete clinical documentation, faithful to the patient’s situation, and interoperability between systems, require widespread and dependable access to published and maintained collections of coherent and quality-assured semantic resources, including models such as archetypes and templates that would (1) provide clinical context, (2) be mapped to interoperability standards for EHR data, (3) be linked to well specified, multi-lingual terminology value sets, and (4) be derived from high quality ontologies. Wide-scale engagement with professional bodies, globally, is needed to develop these clinical information standards.

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Barry Smith
State University of New York, Buffalo


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