EHR query language (EQL)—a query language for archetype-based health records

Chunlan Ma, Heath Frankel, Thomas Beale, Sam Heard
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics 2007, 129: 397-401
OpenEHR specifications have been developed to standardise the representation of an international electronic health record (EHR). The language used for querying EHR data is not as yet part of the specification. To fill in this gap, Ocean Informatics has developed a query language currently known as EHR Query Language (EQL), a declarative language supporting queries on EHR data. EQL is neutral to EHR systems, programming languages and system environments and depends only on the openEHR archetype model and semantics. Thus, in principle, EQL can be used in any archetype-based computational context. In the EHR context described here, particular queries mention concepts from the openEHR EHR Reference Model (RM). EQL can be used as a common query language for disparate archetype-based applications. The use of a common RM, archetypes, and a companion query language, such as EQL, semantic interoperability of EHR information is much closer. This paper introduces the EQL syntax and provides example clinical queries to illustrate the syntax. Finally, current implementations and future directions are outlined.

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