journal of biomedical informatics
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Design and Implementation of an Ontology for the Computable Representation of Clinical Prediction Rules

Author(s): Derek Corrigan, Adel Taweel, Tom Fahey, Theodoros Arvanitis, Brendan Delaney

Objective: A lack of acceptance has hindered the widespread adoption and implementation of clinical prediction rules (CPRs). The use of clinical decision support systems (CDSSs) has been advocated as one way of facilitating a broader dissemination and validation of CPRs. This requires computable models of clinical evidence based on open standards rather than closed proprietary content.

Methods: The on-going TRANSFoRm project has developed ontological models of CPRs suitable for providing CPR based decision support.

Results: This paper describes the design and implementation of a generic ontology model for the representation of computable CPRs. The conceptual validity and implementation of the ontology is discussed using an illustrative example of a CPR in the form of the Alvarado Score for acute appendicitis.

Conclusions: We demonstrate how the model is used to query the structure of this particular rule, providing a generic computable representation suitable for the representation of CPRs in general.