Human Action in the Healthcare Domain: A Critical Analysis of HL7’s Reference Information Model

In Johanssonian Investigations. Essays in Honour of Ingvar Johansson on His Seventieth Birthday. Ontos Verlag. pp. 554--573 (2013)
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If we are to develop efficient, reliable and secure means for sharing information across healthcare systems and organizations, then a careful analysis of human actions will be needed. To address this need, the HL7 organization has proposed its Reference Information Model (RIM), which is designed to provide a comprehensive representation of the entire domain of healthcare centered around the phenomenon of human action. Taking the Basic Formal Ontology as our starting point, we examine the RIM from an ontological point of view, describing how it fails to provide a representation of the healthcare domain which would enjoy the sort of clarity, coherence, rigor and completeness that is claimed on its behalf.

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Barry Smith
University at Buffalo


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