Goals and challenges for the realization of a European wide ehealth infrastructure
A number of Electronic Health Record (EHR) standards and frameworks have been developed to assist with the interoperability and integration of distributed EHR information. Ideally, all EHR systems would adopt common and systematized hierarchies of component names, use multi-lingual clinical coding systems with perfect cross-mappings and use identical reference models for measurements. However, this has not been realized yet. Not only do a number of international health information standards exist, such as CEN EN 13606, HL7 and GEHR, but each country, state, division, hospital and vendor usually has their own “standard clinical data model”. Since it is not realistic to expect to have a single universally accepted clinical data model that will be adhered to all over Europe and that the clinical practice, terminology systems and EHR systems are all a long way from such a complete harmonisation. This paper presents some results of the RIDE project; a project that will address the interoperability of eHealth systems with special emphasis on semantic interoperability. The paper describes relevant goals for the development of the eHealth sector in Europe that have been identified in the project as common requirements for many eHealth applications and names the technical and organisational challenges accompanying these goals.
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