Terminology Asset Management
While terminology products and applications provide the technical foundation for the adoption and integration of healthcare standards, equally important are the people and processes that design and implement these services. Apelon uses the phrase Terminology Asset Managementsm (TAM) to help clarify this separation of application function from supporting people and processes. TAM is the collection of activities and business processes performed by people, assisted by technology, to implement, integrate, update, deploy and maintain terminologies.
Terminology Asset Management functions include:
- Assess – Evaluate terminology requirements, develop use cases, and review internal, regional, national and international data sets for applicability to the business problem/use case.
- Acquire –Select and obtain available terminologies and associated hardware and software to achieve prioritized enterprise goals.
- Enhance – Translate, localize, and define terminology extensions to fill gaps in external standards and support local enterprise needs.
- Integrate – Define interfaces between selected terminologies and in-use systems to create a unified information architecture.
- Map – Create, acquire, review and deploy inter-terminology mappings to achieve the benefits of data interoperability.
- Subset – Select relevant terminology elements needed for point-of-use terminology deployment to meet focused user-defined needs.
- Deploy – Make terminology content and services available throughout the enterprise to create terminology-enabled systems.
- Educate – Provide information, training, documentation, and tooling to empower system users.
- Maintain – Implement versioning and update processes to support the latest terminology changes alongside the lifetime electronic medical record.
- Govern – Align and coordinate stakeholders inside and outside the enterprise to manage terminology within the overall enterprise architecture.
Given that terminology asset management functions are people and processes, these activities need occur as part of a clinical data support organization tied to both application functionality and also data quality. TAM personnel (health information management, informatics, computer science, and clinical experts) are responsible for the functions noted above and will interact with external terminology authorities as well as work with internal stakeholders. The outcome of these activities will be creation of terminology content that is used within the terminology services application to meet the needs of data normalization, terminology content access and general terminology deployment.