International developments in openEHR archetypes and templates

Health Inf Manag. 2008;37(1):38-9. doi: 10.1177/183335830803700104.


Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are a complex knowledge domain. The ability to design EHRs to cope with the changing nature of health knowledge, and to be shareable, has been elusive. A recent pilot study1 tested the applicability of the CEN 13606 as an electronic health record standard. Using openEHR archetypes and tools2, 650 clinical content specifi cations (archetypes) were created (e.g. for blood pressure) and re-used across all clinical specialties and contexts. Groups of archetypes were aggregated in templates to support clinical information gathering or viewing (e.g. 80 separate archetypes make up the routine antenatal visit record). Over 60 templates were created for use in the emergency department, antenatal care and delivery of an infant, and paediatric hearing loss assessment. The primary goal is to define a logical clinical record architecture for the NHS but potentially, with archetypes as the keystone, shareable EHRs will also be attainable. Archetype and template development work is ongoing, with associated evaluation occurring in parallel.

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Medical Record Linkage / standards*
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized / standards*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Reference Standards
  • State Medicine
  • Systems Integration*
  • United Kingdom
  • User-Computer Interface