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Content archived on 2024-05-07

Flexible Clinical Terminology

Exploitable results

The GALEN programme is a sustained effort to make a common multilingual terminology for healthcare practical and exploitable. Much of the work of the GALEN programme is now available as the OpenGALEN medical terminology, The lack of a common multilingual terminology for healthcare is a major barrier to a European-wide market in electronic healthcare records, decision support, information sharing, and resource management. The project has produced results in four areas, the first being tools for staff developing or integrating classifications or specialized terminologies. This involves: the Classification Workbench for workers in the classification centres including tools for mapping to and from existing classifications and for re-organizing classifications along alternative axes; the integration environment for those harmonizing the work of the centres; multilingual language generation, so that the results can be viewed in whichever language is required (the tools include generalized grammar allowing new languages to be added in a few person-weeks work). The second area involves the Common Reference Models: the underlying Common Reference Model including an extensive model of human anatomy; the Common Reference Model for Surgical Procedures. The third area involves specialist classifications developed by individual national centres. The GALEN technology is being used extensively in the development of the new French national classification of procedures and in contributions to the Dutch, Swedish, Belgian and Greek classifications of procedures. It is also used in the UK Prodigy prescribing support system. Finally, demonstrations and evaluations have taken place of clinical systems using the GALEN technology.

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