Ontoserver: a syndicated terminology server.
Even though several high-quality clinical terminologies, such as SNOMED CT and LOINC, are readily available, uptake in clinical systems has been slow and many continue to capture information in plain text or using custom terminologies. This paper discusses some of the challenges behind this slow uptake and describes a clinical terminology server implementation that aims to overcome these obstacles and contribute to the widespread adoption of standardised clinical terminologies. Ontoserver is a clinical terminology server based on the Fast Health Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard. Some of its key features include: out-of-the-box support for SNOMED CT, LOINC and OWL ontologies, such as the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO); a fast, prefix-based search algorithm to ensure users can easily find content and are not discouraged from entering coded data; a syndication mechanism to facilitate keeping terminologies up to date; and a full implementation of SNOMED CT's Expression Constraint Language (ECL), which enables sophisticated data analytics. Ontoserver has been designed to overcome some of the challenges that have hindered adoption of standardised clinical terminologies and is used in several organisations throughout Australia. Increasing adoption is an important goal because it will help improve the quality of clinical data, which can lead to better clinical decision support and ultimately to better patient outcomes.
Journal of biomedical semantics. 2018 Sep;9(1):24.
Authors: Alejandro Metke-Jimenez, Jim Steel, David Hansen, Michael Lawley