A Study of Semantic Proximity between Archetype Terms Based on SNOMED CT Relationships

  • Jose Luis Allones
  • David Penas
  • María Taboada
  • Diego Martinez
  • Serafín Tellado
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7738)


The OpenEHR archetypes have been suggested as a standard for detailing data models of electronic healthcare records, as a means of achieving interoperability between clinical systems. But, mapping terms of these clinical data models to a terminology system, such as SNOMED CT, is a crucial step to provide the required interoperability. Through this study, we aim to understand better how archetype clinical information is semantically related using SNOMED CT relationships as a reference. For this purpose, we developed an automated approach to bind archetype terms to the SNOMED CT terminology. Our method revealed a high degree of semantic similarity between the terms modeled in the archetypes and the hierarchical and logical relationships covered by SNOMED CT. It has been detected that more than 75% of the archetype terms are semantically related to other terms of the same archetype. Taking this into account, our approach applies a combination of terminological relationships-based techniques with lexical and linguistic resources. A set of 25 clinical archetypes with 477 bound terms was used to test the method. Of these, 378 terms (79%) were linked with 96% precision, 76% recall. Our approach has proven to take advantage of the SNOMED CT relationship structure, increasing the total recall by 10%. Therefore, this work shows that it is possible to automatically map archetype terms to a standard terminology with a high precision and recall, with the help of appropriate contextual and semantic information of both models.


Terminology mapping Knowledge Representation UMLS SNOMED CT Semantic interoperability Clinical Archetypes 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jose Luis Allones
    • 1
  • David Penas
    • 1
  • María Taboada
    • 1
  • Diego Martinez
    • 2
  • Serafín Tellado
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Electronics and Computer ScienceUniversity of Santiago de CompostelaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Applied PhysicsUniversity of Santiago de CompostelaSpain

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