Medical informatics standards applicable to emergency department information systems: making sense of the jumble.

The adoption of medical informatics standards by emergency department information systems (EDISs) is not universal, despite obvious benefits. Clinicians and administrators looking to obtain an EDIS need to know exactly what the various standards can do for them and how the systems they depend on can be integrated and extended. In addition to the standard methods for systems to communicate (chiefly Health Level 7 [HL7]) and those required for submission of claims (Current Procedural Terminology [CPT]-4, International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification [ICD-9-CM], and X12N), there are several other available standards that are clinically useful and can greatly improve the ability to access and exchange patient information. Major advances in the Unified Medical Language System of the National Library of Medicine have made the patient medical record information standards (Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine [SNOMED], Logical Observation Identifiers, Names, and Codes [LOINC], RxNorm) easily accessible. Detailed knowledge of the arcana associated with the technical aspects of the standards is not needed (or desired) by clinicians to use standards-based systems. However, some knowledge about the commonly used standards is helpful in choosing an EDIS, interfacing the EDIS with the other hospital information systems, extending or upgrading systems, and adopting decision support technologies.

Academic emergency medicine : official journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. 2004 Nov;11(11):1198-205.

ISSN 1069-6563

Author: Kevin M Coonan

PMID 15528585

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