Semantic interoperability of Health Risk Assessments

AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2011:2011:1134-43. Epub 2011 Oct 22.


The health insurance and benefits industry has administered Health Risk Assessments (HRAs) at an increasing rate. These are used to collect data on modifiable health risk factors for wellness and disease management programs. However, there is significant variability in the semantics of these assessments, making it difficult to compare data sets from the output of 2 different HRAs. There is also an increasing need to exchange this data with Health Information Exchanges and Electronic Medical Records. To standardize the data and concepts from these tools, we outline a process to determine presence of certain common elements of modifiable health risk extracted from these surveys. This information is coded using concept identifiers, which allows cross-survey comparison and analysis. We propose that using LOINC codes or other universal coding schema may allow semantic interoperability of a variety of HRA tools across the industry, research, and clinical settings.

MeSH terms

  • Databases as Topic / organization & administration*
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Semantics
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Systems Integration*