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Semantic Clarification of the Representation of Procedures and Diseases in SNOMED((R))CT.

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Department of Medical Informatics, Freiburg University,


SNOMED((R)) CT is emerging as a reference terminology for the entire health care process. It claims to be founded on logic-based modeling principles. In this work we analyze a special encoding scheme for SNOMED disease and procedure entities, the so-called relationship groups which had been devised in order to avoid ambiguities in entity definitions. We show that these artifacts may represent hidden mereological relations. We also report discrepancies encountered between the defined semantics of many SNOMED((R)) CT entity terms and their intuitive meaning, and inconsistencies detected between the definition of some complex composed entities and the definition of their top-level parents. As a result we formulate recommendations for improvements of SNOMED((R)) CT.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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