Health Information Technology Standards
Health information technology (HIT) standards (e.g. SNOMED-CT, DICOM, HL7, LOINC) and other nonmedical technical standards (e.g. XML, HTTP) play a central role in achieving the broad-reaching goals of interoperability and fluid data exchange. HIMSS defines interoperability as the “ability of health information systems to work together within and across organization boundaries in order to advance the effective delivery of healthcare for individuals and communities” (HIMSS, 2013). The three levels of HIT interoperability are:
1) Foundational (lowest level): data exchange occurs from one information system to another without the receiving system having to interpret the data.
2) Structural (Syntatical) (intermediate level): the structure or format of the data exchanged is standardized so that the operational purpose and meaning of the data is preserved. Messaging standards supports this form of interoperability.
3) Semantic (highest level): two or more information systems can exchange data, interpret it, and make use of the data without human intervention. This level of interoperability requires the addition of clinical data codification and structured clinical vocabularies (HIMSS, 2013).
This semantic interoperability utilizes the strengths of electronic medical systems and computing abilities. As we build standards that support the exchange of not only data but the meaning of the data, in a computer readable format, we can build more robust applications to assist in clinical care and operations (patient to organizational level).
The culmination of this course’s learning is a group project examining the ability of the terminology standard SNOMED-CT to capture clinical data with adequate granularity. Our scope spans the terminology standard’s applicability, implementation process and challenges, current deployments, novel techniques at user-level data capture, and future applications. My core interest and contribution lies in the novel applications of SNOMED-CT, with the use of this standard to map clinician-provided medical terminology to SNOMED-CT concepts by various methods such as semantic enhanced auto-completion, semantic and linguistic matching, and use-based large ontology pruning.
HIMSS. (2013, April 5). What is Interoperability? HIMSS. Retrieved from https://www.himss.org/library/interoperability-standards/what-is
SNOMED-CT: History, Implementation, Use Cases, and Novel Techniques in Clinical Medicine