Kaiser Permanente To Donate Terminology System for Use in EHRs
Kaiser Permanente recently announced that it is donating its Convergent Medical Terminology system to the global health community to help boost the interoperability of medical codes used in electronic health records, InformationWeek reports (Kolbasuk McGee, InformationWeek, 9/30).
Kaiser said it will provide the CMT system to the International Healthcare Terminology Standards Development Organization. HHS then will distribute the system throughout the U.S. (Payers & Providers, 9/30).
Details of CMT
The CMT system -- which took about 16 years and millions of dollars to develop -- includes a dictionary of 75,000 medical concepts and terms. The system currently is used by about 15,000 clinicians at Kaiser hospitals.
Kaiser's donation also includes various tools to help manage and create medical terminology.Â In addition, CMTÂ includes mappings to other classifications and standard vocabularies, including the Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine Clinical Terms, also known as SNOMED-CT (InformationWeek, 9/30). The system also includes information on the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes, which is a database for the exchange of clinical laboratory data (McKinney, Modern Healthcare, 9/28).
The medical terminology system helps EHRs capture clinical terms and translate them into language that patients can understand, Kaiser officials said (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 9/29).
Blumenthal Comments on Donation
National Coordinator for HealthÂ Information TechnologyÂ David Blumenthal said Kaiser's donation of the CMT system would foster the use of a consistent data formats among various health care institutions (Mosquera, Government Health IT, 9/29).
He added that the CMT system will allow health care providers and healthÂ IT vendors to incorporate common medical terminology content into existing EHRs, which will be more efficient than developing separate translation tools (InformationWeek, 9/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.