Guideline and quality indicators for development, purchase and use of controlled health vocabularies

Peter L. Elkin, Steven H. Brown, John Carter, Brent A. Bauer, Dietlind Wahner-Roedler, Larry Bergstrom, Mark Pittelkow, Cornelius Rosse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Developers and purchasers of controlled health terminologies require valid mechanisms for comparing terminological systems. By Controlled Health Vocabularies, we refer to terminologies and terminological systems designed to represent clinical data at a granularity consistent with the practice of today's healthcare delivery. Comprehensive criterion for the evaluation of such systems historically have been lacking and the known criteria are inconsistently applied. Although there are many papers which describe specific desirable features of a controlled health vocabulary, to date there is not a consistent guide for evaluators of terminologies to reference, which will help them compare implementations of terminological systems on an equal footing [Methods Inf. Med. 37 (1998) 394, J. Am. Med. Inform. Assoc. 5 (1998) 503]. This guideline serves to fill the gap between academic enumeration of desirable terminological characteristics and the practical implementation or rigorous evaluations which will yield comparable data regarding the quality of one or more controlled health vocabularies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-186
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 18 2002


  • Controlled health vocabularies
  • Data representation
  • Knowledge management
  • Quality assurance
  • Standardization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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