Evaluation of RxNorm for Medication Clinical Decision Support

Robert R. Freimuth, Kelly Wix, Qian Zhu, Mark Siska, Christopher G. Chute

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We evaluated the potential use of RxNorm to provide standardized representations of generic drug name and route of administration to facilitate management of drug lists for clinical decision support (CDS) rules. We found a clear representation of generic drug name but not route of administration. We identified several issues related to data quality, including erroneous or missing defined relationships, and the use of different concept hierarchies to represent the same drug. More importantly, we found extensive semantic precoordination of orthogonal concepts related to route and dose form, which would complicate the use of RxNorm for drug-based CDS. This study demonstrated that while RxNorm is a valuable resource for the standardization of medications used in clinical practice, additional work is required to enhance the terminology so that it can support expanded use cases, such as managing drug lists for CDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)554-563
Number of pages10
JournalAMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings / AMIA Symposium. AMIA Symposium
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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