Normalizing your clinical and claims-based data into standard terminologies is critical in supporting forward-thinking initiatives such as big data analytics, population health management, and semantic interoperability among systems.
Terminology is core to everything in healthcare—from procedures to results to diagnoses, healthcare IT (HIT) systems represent clinical concepts in various coded clinical terminologies or free text. Unfortunately, the explosive growth in HIT has resulted in patient data being scattered across an array of rapidly proliferating IT systems— each with its own way of representing clinical terms. The variety in terminologies and the variability in how they are used by the systems that comprise the healthcare IT ecosystem has created an environment of data locked in silos. This terminology barrier must be overcome if we are to recognize the national effort around increased interoperability, transparency, and collaboration within our healthcare system.