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Comput Biomed Res. 1991 Aug;24(4):379-400.

An interlingua for electronic interchange of medical information: using frames to map between clinical vocabularies.

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Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261.


The proliferation of medical knowledge has led to the development of extensive dictionaries for electronically accessing information resources. The task of standardizing terminology used for electronic hospital records and for knowledge bases for medical expert systems and indexing the medical literature cannot easily be met by developing a single, monolithic "official" medical vocabulary. Developing a monolithic vocabulary would require a massive effort, and its existence would not guarantee its use by third-party payors, by practicing clinicians, or by developers of electronic medical information systems. Recognizing this, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) has begun to develop the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) as a means of promoting electronic information exchange among systems with controlled vocabularies. The authors describe a frame-based system developed as an experimental approach to mapping between controlled clinical vocabularies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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