Abstract : Objectives: An important barrier to electronic healthcare information exchanges (HIE) is the lack of interoperability between information systems especially on the semantic level. In the scope of the ANR (Agence Nationale pour la Recherche)/TeRSan (Terminology and Data Elements Repositories for Healthcare Interoperability) project, we propose to set and use a semantic interoperability platform, based on semantic web technologies, in order to facilitate standardized healthcare information exchanges between heterogeneous Electronic Healthcare Records (EHRs) in different care settings.
Material and methods: The platform is a standard-based expressive and scalable semantic interoperability framework. It includes centrally managed Common Data Elements bounded to international/national reference terminologies such as ICD10, CCAM, SNOMED CT, ICD-O, LOINC and PathLex. It offers semantic services such as dynamic mappings between reference and local terminologies.
Results: A pilot implementation of semantic services was developed and evaluated within an HIE prototype in telepathology for remote expert advice. The semantic services developed for transcoding local terms into reference terms take into account the type of message and the exchange context defined within standard-based integration profiles.
Conclusion: The TeRSan platform is an innovative semantic interoperability framework that (1) provides standard-based semantic services applicable to any HIE infrastructure and (2) preserves the use of local terminologies and local models by end users (health professionals' priority).