Harmonizing clinical terminologies: driving interoperability in healthcare.

Internationally, there are countless initiatives to build National Healthcare Information Networks (NHIN) that electronically interconnect healthcare organizations by enhancing and integrating current information technology (IT) capabilities. The realization of such NHINs will enable the simple and immediate exchange of appropriate and vital clinical data among participating organizations. In order for institutions to accurately and automatically exchange information, the electronic clinical documents must make use of established clinical codes, such as those of SNOMED-CT, LOINC and ICD-9 CM. However, there does not exist one universally accepted coding scheme that encapsulates all pertinent clinical information for the purposes of patient care, clinical research and population heatlh reporting. In this paper, we propose a combination of methods and standards that target the harmonization of clinical terminologies and encourage sustainable, interoperable infrastructure for healthcare.

Studies in health technology and informatics. 2007 ;129(Pt 1):660-3.

ISSN 0926-9630

Authors: Russell A Hamm, Sarah E Knoop, Peter Schwarz, Aaron D Block, Warren L Davis

PMID 17911799

PubMed BibTeX