Design, Development, and Initial Evaluation of a Terminology for Clinical Decision Support and Electronic Clinical Quality Measurement

AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2015 Nov 5:2015:843-51. eCollection 2015.


When coupled with a common information model, a common terminology for clinical decision support (CDS) and electronic clinical quality measurement (eCQM) could greatly facilitate the distributed development and sharing of CDS and eCQM knowledge resources. To enable such scalable knowledge authoring and sharing, we systematically developed an extensible and standards-based terminology for CDS and eCQM in the context of the HL7 Virtual Medical Record (vMR) information model. The development of this terminology entailed three steps: (1) systematic, physician-curated concept identification from sources such as the Health Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) and the SNOMED-CT CORE problem list; (2) concept de-duplication leveraging the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) MetaMap and Metathesaurus; and (3) systematic concept naming using standard terminologies and heuristic algorithms. This process generated 3,046 concepts spanning 68 domains. Evaluation against representative CDS and eCQM resources revealed approximately 50-70% concept coverage, indicating the need for continued expansion of the terminology.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical* / standards
  • Health Information Interoperability
  • Health Level Seven
  • Vocabulary, Controlled*