Health Language Blog

The Importance of Standardized Healthcare Terminology

Posted on 09/14/16 | Comments

In our previous blog, we discussed the importance of leveraging administrative data for better quality assessment. As the wrap-up to this standards blog series, I want to look back at Crossing the Quality Chasm as a foundational work for improving the quality of healthcare delivery. This paper called not only for better quality but also for a reduction in the cost of that care--this at a time when the population is aging, technology is evolving, and research is rapidly expanding evidenced-based medicine. At least eight of the 13 recommendations made by the authors of Crossing the Quality Chasm directly involve the collection, aggregation, and actionable use of healthcare data. The remaining five are supporting those objectives through the development of committees that address quality care and reimbursement models, and in training the workforce to meet the increasing needs of an industry that is becoming more and more reliant on data and analytics.

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Topics: ICD-10, SNOMED, LOINC, RxNorm, semantic interoperability, billing, Administrative Data

RxNorm: Addressing Medication Information Exchange

Posted on 08/24/16 | Comments

Part Three of our Terminology Standards series introduced LOINC as the standard of choice for exchange of laboratory and clinical information. This fourth blog introduces RxNorm as the foundation for accurate exchange of medication and prescription information.

Health information exchange is a multifaceted undertaking that encompasses the introduction and adoption of a variety of industry standards to support interoperability. Just as LOINC addresses data exchange for laboratory information, RxNorm provides the foundation for sharing medication information.

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Topics: Standard terminologies, RxNorm, data normalization

2013 Terminology Trend Watch: A Mid-Year Update

Posted on 06/12/13 | Comments

At the beginning of the year, we presented three terminology management trends to watch for in 2013. You can read the full post here, but in summary, we predicted that the trends providers would be most focused on this year would involve: Meaningful Use; ICD-10; and a lesser discussed concept, Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCCs). 

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Topics: Meaningful use, ICD-10, HCCs, LOINC, Hierarchical Condition Categories, Trends, technology, RxNorm

A Guide to Different Types of Data that Need to be Normalized

Posted on 01/29/13 | Comments

Practicing internal medicine in an academic medical center, I’ve found that maintaining a concise and complete active problem list for patients is becoming a mark of “good citizenship.” Trying to maintain a problem-oriented medical record certainly isn’t new, but in the days of shadow charts and siloed systems, updating an institutional problem list for patients was mostly a matter of good intentions and meeting accreditation requirements. Now that my colleagues and I share a truly comprehensive EHR, the problem list is something we rely on every day in providing comprehensive and well-coordinated care. We’re also beginning to see the problem list get even more visibility as it becomes the basis for electronic quality measures on our performance and our institution’s.

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Topics: LOINC, Coding Challenges, RxNorm