Representation of Drug Use in Biomedical Standards, Clinical Text, and Research Measures

AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2015 Nov 5;2015:376-85. eCollection 2015.


Drug misuse is a prominent cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Recent focus on behavioral and social domains in the electronic health record (EHR) has highlighted the need for comprehensive examination of social history information, such as drug use. In this study, representation of drug use was examined in three types of sources: (1) standards from HL7 and openEHR, (2) clinical text from publicly accessible clinical notes and a local EHR, and (3) research measures from the PhenX Toolkit and CDE Browser. In total, 27 elements were identified across the examined sources, revealing a diverse set of values that were found to be associated with drug use type, frequency, method, time frame, and amount. The findings of this study provide insight into the representation of drug use information that may contribute to efforts for standardizing collection and use of these data to support clinical care and research.

MeSH terms

  • Common Data Elements
  • Electronic Health Records / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Medical History Taking*
  • Prescription Drug Misuse / prevention & control*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis*
  • United States