JOURNAL ARTICLE

Role of OpenEHR as an open source solution for the regional modelling of patient data in obstetrics

Christina Pahl, Mojtaba Zare, Mehrbakhsh Nilashi, Marco Aurélio de Faria Borges, Daniel Weingaertner, Vesselin Detschew, Eko Supriyanto, Othman Ibrahim
Journal of Biomedical Informatics 2015, 55: 174-87
25900270
This work investigates, whether openEHR with its reference model, archetypes and templates is suitable for the digital representation of demographic as well as clinical data. Moreover, it elaborates openEHR as a tool for modelling Hospital Information Systems on a regional level based on a national logical infrastructure. OpenEHR is a dual model approach developed for the modelling of Hospital Information Systems enabling semantic interoperability. A holistic solution to this represents the use of dual model based Electronic Healthcare Record systems. Modelling data in the field of obstetrics is a challenge, since different regions demand locally specific information for the process of treatment. Smaller health units in developing countries like Brazil or Malaysia, which until recently handled automatable processes like the storage of sensitive patient data in paper form, start organizational reconstruction processes. This archetype proof-of-concept investigation has tried out some elements of the openEHR methodology in cooperation with a health unit in Colombo, Brazil. Two legal forms provided by the Brazilian Ministry of Health have been analyzed and classified into demographic and clinical data. LinkEHR-Ed editor was used to read, edit and create archetypes. Results show that 33 clinical and demographic concepts, which are necessary to cover data demanded by the Unified National Health System, were identified. Out of the concepts 61% were reused and 39% modified to cover domain requirements. The detailed process of reuse, modification and creation of archetypes is shown. We conclude that, although a major part of demographic and clinical patient data were already represented by existing archetypes, a significant part required major modifications. In this study openEHR proved to be a highly suitable tool in the modelling of complex health data. In combination with LinkEHR-Ed software it offers user-friendly and highly applicable tools, although the complexity built by the vast specifications requires expert networks to define generally excepted clinical models. Finally, this project has pointed out main benefits enclosing high coverage of obstetrics data on the Clinical Knowledge Manager, simple modelling, and wide network and support using openEHR. Moreover, barriers described are enclosing the allocation of clinical content to respective archetypes, as well as stagnant adaption of changes on the Clinical Knowledge Manager leading to redundant efforts in data contribution that need to be addressed in future works.

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