Standardising clinical data elements

Meredith Nahm, Anita Walden, Brian McCourt, Karen Pieper, Emily Honeycutt, Carol D. Hamilton, Robert A. Harrington, Jane Diefenbach, Bron Kisler, Mead Walker, W. Ed Hammond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We report the development and implementation of a methodology for standardising clinical data elements. The methodology, piloted using Tuberculosis (TB) and Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS) domains, relies on clinicians for natural language definitions and on informaticists for computable specifications. Data elements are represented using the ISO 11179 standard, UML class, and activity diagrams. Over 2000 candidate data elements were compiled for each domain. Initial sets of 21 data elements for ACS and 139 for TB, plus 300 valid values, were standardised and made publicly available. The methodology is now used in HL7 for data element definition in other clinical areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-341
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal of Functional Informatics and Personalised Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical definitions
  • Data elements
  • Domain analysis model
  • EMR
  • HL7
  • Interoperability
  • Standards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Standardising clinical data elements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this