The arden syntax for medical logic modules

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The Arden Syntax for sharing medical knowledge bases is described. Its current focus is on knowledge that is represented as a set of independent modules that can provide therapeutic suggestions, alerts, diagnosis scores, etc. The syntax is based largely upon HELP and the Regenstrief Medical Record System. Each module, called a Medical Logic Module or MLM, is made of slots grouped into maintenance, library, and knowledge categories. The syntax has provisions for querying a clinical database and representing time. Several clinical information systems were analyzed and appear to be compatible with the syntax. The syntax has been tested for syntactic ambiguities using the tools lex and yacc. Seventeen institutions are currently in the process of adopting the Arden Syntax for their decision-support systems. A subcommittee of ASTM has been formed to develop standards for sharing medical knowledge bases. The Arden Syntax has been published by ASTM as a initial standard for sharing medical knowledge.