Terminology Asset Management

By: Apelon  09-12-2011

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.

Other products and services from Apelon



We continuously enhance our expertise through involvement in terminology research and development of “best practices,” collaborating with research agencies and academic centers such as the US Centers for Disease Control, Mayo Clinic, US National Cancer Institute, US National Library of Medicine, Ohio State University, and Stanford University.


Content Services

As part of our DTS and TermWorks product services, our content services group acquires, formats, and distributes over forty different national and international standards to clients around the world. With a single common data model for content, healthcare and biotech application developers can eliminate the cost and confusion of dealing with different terminology data structures.


Consulting Services

Planning – Apelon consultants are available to analyze your existing vocabulary environment, provide a comprehensive requirements assessment, and make focused recommendations on processes and applications to assure a successful return on your terminology investment.


Product Services

Whatever the source of the requirements, data standardization is a vital component of today’s healthcare computing environment, allowing clinical information to be effectively and consistently collected, compared, and analyzed. For organizations needing to create and evolve critical terminology assets, Apelon’s Modeling Services accelerate time to market, reduce maintenance costs, increase terminology quality, and improve business results.