The International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation (IHTSDO) and openEHR Foundation have begun a collaborative programme on developing clinical terminologies and archetype-based electronic health record structures.
IHTSDO and the openEHR Foundation will work on a harmonisation project based on the practical development of effective and sustainable clinical content for the electronic health record.
The project will explore how best to support those who wish to use openEHR archetypes and SNOMED CT terminology together within current and future systems to support data capture, complex queries, clinical decision support and reporting.
This initiative arose from an intergovernmental workshop with high-level industry representation held in Helsingør, Denmark in November 2008, which aimed to tackle health information infrastructure initiatives, worldwide.
In response to this call for leadership and wider consultation, IHTSDO and openEHR agreed to identify opportunities to align efforts to address the practical implementation and evaluation challenges facing national e-health programs, together.
The two groups says their work will be of immediate interest and relevance in countries where the use of clinical data archetypes and clinical terminology are already envisaged as part of the standardisation process.
It is planned that a first practical focus of the joint effort will be mutual engagement with and support of a member-led project to develop a logical record architecture through the UK Terminology Centre (the IHTSDO National Release Centre for the UK).
Longer term goals include achieving pan-European semantic interoperability of health records, by working with the Framework Programme and the EuroRec Institute.