Dealing with elements of medical encounters: An approach based on ontological realism


Authors
Barry Smith
State University of New York, Buffalo
Abstract
Electronic health records (EHRs) serve as repositories of documented data collected in a health care encounter. An EHR records information about who receives, who provides the health care and about the place where the encounter happens. We also observe additional elements relating to social relations in which the healthcare consumer is involved. To provide a consensus representation of common data and to enhance interoperability between different EHR repositories we have created a solution grounded in formal ontology. Here, we present how an ontology for the obstetric and neonatal domain deals with these general elements documented in health care encounters. Our goal is to promote the interoperability of information among EHRs created in different specialties. To develop our ontology, we used two main approaches: one based on ontological realism, the other based on the principles of the OBO Foundry, including reuse of reference ontologies.
Keywords biomedical ontology  Obstetric and Neonatal Ontology  electronic health records  Basic Formal Ontology (BFO)  Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Foundry
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