Sharing electronic healthcare records across country borders

Yüksel, Mustafa
Today, the application of information and communication technologies to healthcare is on the agenda of many countries. The main aim is to make Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR) of a patient accessible anywhere at any time to all authorized users. This is even valid in the cross-border case; the European Commission has published eHealth interoperability recommendations to the EU Member States, in which the RIDE Project contributed, for the purpose of an interoperable European Health Network. Interoperable cross-border clinical data exchange is an ambitious goal with some challenges, the most obvious one being the variety of standards. This issue gets more complicated with the locally developed standards and coding systems. Each country has its own set of standards and it is not reasonable to make all possible combinations of mappings among them during multi-party EHR exchange. Instead, what needs to be done is keeping the legacy infrastructures of the participants and agreeing on a set of common EHR standards and coding systems. Then, each country shall develop "Adapters" transforming local EHR instances to the commonly agreed formats which will most probably be based on widely accepted standards such as HL7 CDA. This approach enables the structure level interoperability. As the second step, in order to achieve semantic interoperability, coded terms from locally defined coding systems shall be translated to international counterparts. In this thesis, our methodology is confirmed on Turkey's National Health Information System. "Transmission Schemas" are automatically transformed to HL7 v3 CDA R2 and CEN EN 13606 standard formats. The local coded terms are translated by developing a mapping platform based on Unified Medical Language System (UMLS).


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Citation Formats
M. Yüksel, “Sharing electronic healthcare records across country borders,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2008.