The EHR-ARCHE project: satisfying clinical information needs in a Shared Electronic Health Record system based on IHE XDS and Archetypes

Georg Duftschmid, Christoph Rinner, Michael Kohler, Gudrun Huebner-Bloder, Samrend Saboor, Elske Ammenwerth
International Journal of Medical Informatics 2013, 82 (12): 1195-207

PURPOSE: While contributing to an improved continuity of care, Shared Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems may also lead to information overload of healthcare providers. Document-oriented architectures, such as the commonly employed IHE XDS profile, which only support information retrieval at the level of documents, are particularly susceptible for this problem. The objective of the EHR-ARCHE project was to develop a methodology and a prototype to efficiently satisfy healthcare providers' information needs when accessing a patient's Shared EHR during a treatment situation. We especially aimed to investigate whether this objective can be reached by integrating EHR Archetypes into an IHE XDS environment.

METHODS: Using methodical triangulation, we first analysed the information needs of healthcare providers, focusing on the treatment of diabetes patients as an exemplary application domain. We then designed ISO/EN 13606 Archetypes covering the identified information needs. To support a content-based search for fine-grained information items within EHR documents, we extended the IHE XDS environment with two additional actors. Finally, we conducted a formative and summative evaluation of our approach within a controlled study.

RESULTS: We identified 446 frequently needed diabetes-specific information items, representing typical information needs of healthcare providers. We then created 128 Archetypes and 120 EHR documents for two fictive patients. All seven diabetes experts, who evaluated our approach, preferred the content-based search to a conventional XDS search. Success rates of finding relevant information was higher for the content-based search (100% versus 80%) and the latter was also more time-efficient (8-14min versus 20min or more).

CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that for an efficient satisfaction of health care providers' information needs, a content-based search that rests upon the integration of Archetypes into an IHE XDS-based Shared EHR system is superior to a conventional metadata-based XDS search.

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