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The Path to Semantic Interoperability

Modern healthcare information systems require secure, interoperable networks for communication between healthcare providers. Interoperability is the ability of systems to share information and process the data obtained through exchange (Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, 2013). Additionally, interoperability ensures cooperation between consumers, providers, and corporations, regardless of their physical location.

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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology created the national path to interoperability to improve healthcare communication, so it is worth examining the types of interoperability and their distinct features. According to HIMSS (2013), there are three forms of interoperability: foundational, structural, and semantic (Mastrian & McGonigle, 2019, p. 125). Foundational interoperability provided data exchange between systems without interpretation, while structural interoperability heavily depends on the meaning and consistency of medical terminology (Mastrian & McGonigle, 2019). Finally, semantic interoperability is the most complex type of all, as it requires standardized clinical terminology for the effective sharing of data.

Why is standardization important? Standardization of healthcare information systems and transition to electronic health records (EHRs) ensures seamless sharing between various healthcare facilities and settings. Standardization is crucial for both healthcare providers and patients as it helps to save time, money, and lives (Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, 2013). The openEHR modeling approach to standardization might be used to improve semantic interoperability.

The openEHR is a multi-level approach that includes specifications developed by the openEHR Foundation. The openEHR model includes Reference Model, archetypes, and templates. Reference Model ensures logical structuring of clinical data and contributes to syntactic (structural) interoperability, while archetypes are responsible for semantic interoperability and might be reused in collaborative modeling as edited templates (Lingtong et al., 2018). The openEHR modeling involves the collection of meta-information, the definition of data elements, development of archetypes, template editing, and implementation of Reference Models in the form of a software module. The result of openEHR modeling is a semantically interoperable system containing the software and templates which can be used/ reused by any healthcare provider. Overall, the achievement of semantic interoperability by utilization of the standardized openEHR helps to reduce the financial costs of healthcare and improves public health.

References

Lingtong, M., Tian, Q., Lu, X., An, J., & Duan, H. (2018). An openEHR based approach to improve the semantic interoperability of clinical data registry. BMC Med Inform and Decis Mak, 18(15). Web.

Mastrian, L., & McGonigle, D. (2019). Informatics for health professionals (2nd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. (2013). The path to interoperability [Video]. YouTube. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, January 3). The Path to Semantic Interoperability. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/the-path-to-semantic-interoperability/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, January 3). The Path to Semantic Interoperability. https://studycorgi.com/the-path-to-semantic-interoperability/

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"The Path to Semantic Interoperability." StudyCorgi, 3 Jan. 2022, studycorgi.com/the-path-to-semantic-interoperability/.

1. StudyCorgi. "The Path to Semantic Interoperability." January 3, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-path-to-semantic-interoperability/.


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StudyCorgi. "The Path to Semantic Interoperability." January 3, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-path-to-semantic-interoperability/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "The Path to Semantic Interoperability." January 3, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-path-to-semantic-interoperability/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'The Path to Semantic Interoperability'. 3 January.

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