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1.  Archetype-based conversion of EHR content models: pilot experience with a regional EHR system 
Exchange of Electronic Health Record (EHR) data between systems from different suppliers is a major challenge. EHR communication based on archetype methodology has been developed by openEHR and CEN/ISO. The experience of using archetypes in deployed EHR systems is quite limited today. Currently deployed EHR systems with large user bases have their own proprietary way of representing clinical content using various models. This study was designed to investigate the feasibility of representing EHR content models from a regional EHR system as openEHR archetypes and inversely to convert archetypes to the proprietary format.
The openEHR EHR Reference Model (RM) and Archetype Model (AM) specifications were used. The template model of the Cambio COSMIC, a regional EHR product from Sweden, was analyzed and compared to the openEHR RM and AM. This study was focused on the convertibility of the EHR semantic models. A semantic mapping between the openEHR RM/AM and the COSMIC template model was produced and used as the basis for developing prototype software that performs automated bi-directional conversion between openEHR archetypes and COSMIC templates.
Automated bi-directional conversion between openEHR archetype format and COSMIC template format has been achieved. Several archetypes from the openEHR Clinical Knowledge Repository have been imported into COSMIC, preserving most of the structural and terminology related constraints. COSMIC templates from a large regional installation were successfully converted into the openEHR archetype format. The conversion from the COSMIC templates into archetype format preserves nearly all structural and semantic definitions of the original content models. A strategy of gradually adding archetype support to legacy EHR systems was formulated in order to allow sharing of clinical content models defined using different formats.
The openEHR RM and AM are expressive enough to represent the existing clinical content models from the template based EHR system tested and legacy content models can automatically be converted to archetype format for sharing of knowledge. With some limitations, internationally available archetypes could be converted to the legacy EHR models. Archetype support can be added to legacy EHR systems in an incremental way allowing a migration path to interoperability based on standards.
PMCID: PMC2715396  PMID: 19570196
3.  Julius – a template based supplementary electronic health record system 
EHR systems are widely used in hospitals and primary care centres but it is usually difficult to share information and to collect patient data for clinical research. This is partly due to the different proprietary information models and inconsistent data quality. Our objective was to provide a more flexible solution enabling the clinicians to define which data to be recorded and shared for both routine documentation and clinical studies. The data should be possible to reuse through a common set of variable definitions providing a consistent nomenclature and validation of data. Another objective was that the templates used for the data entry and presentation should be possible to use in combination with the existing EHR systems.
We have designed and developed a template based system (called Julius) that was integrated with existing EHR systems. The system is driven by the medical domain knowledge defined by clinicians in the form of templates and variable definitions stored in a common data repository. The system architecture consists of three layers. The presentation layer is purely web-based, which facilitates integration with existing EHR products. The domain layer consists of the template design system, a variable/clinical concept definition system, the transformation and validation logic all implemented in Java. The data source layer utilizes an object relational mapping tool and a relational database.
The Julius system has been implemented, tested and deployed to three health care units in Stockholm, Sweden. The initial responses from the pilot users were positive. The template system facilitates patient data collection in many ways. The experience of using the template system suggests that enabling the clinicians to be in control of the system, is a good way to add supplementary functionality to the present EHR systems.
The approach of the template system in combination with various local EHR systems can facilitate the sharing and reuse of validated clinical information from different health care units. However, future system developments for these purposes should consider using the openEHR/CEN models with shareable archetypes.
PMCID: PMC1868711  PMID: 17474997

Results 1-3 (3)