Terminology Services Community

The OHIE Terminology Services Community (OHIE-TS) is a free and open initiative whose objective is the utilization and deployment of standardized health care data across an HIE. This community is composed of technical and implementation stakeholders with experience developing and deploying Terminology Service strategies, tactics, best practices and guidelines. Sharing experiences among both experts and novice users is invaluable to enable accurate, consistent reporting and aggregation of clinical data. Aligning a provider community today, including labs, clinics, pharmacies, hospitals and imaging centers will lead to improved patient care decisions in the future.

Benefits of a Terminology Service

Standard Data

Using common terminology is vital for knowledge sharing over multiple locations. National and international code systems and value sets should be readily available for validation, comparison and aggregation with local data.

Improved Care

Accurate and consistent data collection improves patient care analysis and reporting. Comparable patient data within and between patient populations leads to more consistent care delivery.

Better Reports

Standardize data element representations for consistent and accurate reporting.

Coordinated Care

Consistent and comparable analysis of healthcare utilization data leads to more informed decisions about resource allocation.


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Why do we do this?

Medical terminology is a very important aspect of the health care field. A standardized set of terms explaining what type of service a patient receives, improves communication during clinical procedures, and enables everyone involved in the process of treatment and care to perform more efficiently for the patient’s benefit.

Technical Resources


Meet other developers and learn from their experiences and work on common goals.  Join Our Community Group 

Learn about best practices and access expertise, technologies and standards around terminology services.  Visit Our Wiki Page

Implementation Guide

A Terminology Services environmental assessment is an analysis of a health system’s “current state.” The assessment includes understanding stakeholders and systems, but the assessment focuses on how clinical data is currently created, managed and used, including the terminologies, clinical vocabularies and other health data standards currently in place.

Ongoing governance is a step frequently missing from Terminology Services plans. Medicine is constantly changing, and so are the local and standard terminologies for coding medical data. Changes are rooted in economics, politics or advancing clinical knowledge, making Terminology Services a dynamic, evolving world. To better prepare for these changes it is critical for a governance model to include a development plan to evaluate, maintain and update input sources, maps and coding systems.

Terminology Services should be responsive to users’ needs and the local context. Use cases and data specifications are two ways to describe what the Terminology Services will achieve and how it should operate. A primary objective of this guide is to promote and facilitate a country driven and user requirements based process. The ideal solution will be responsive to users’ needs and their context.

After the initial implementation of the Terminology Services, it should be expected that requirements and requests for the services would evolve over time. For this reason, ongoing support and continued iterative support strategies should remain in place. Common types of ongoing support are described below.

The best way to monitor Terminology Services component deployment is through quarterly or annual reviews, or preferably, on a real-time basis. Evaluation typically includes performance, coverage and accuracy aspects of the component’s operation. Gaps in any of these aspects should be referred to the SLG for remediation.

Community Resources


Participate in the discussion group and join our routine meetings to ask questions and get feedback.  Join Our Community Group 

Learn about best practices and access expertise, technologies and standards around facility registries.  Visit Our Wiki Page

Meet other implementers and learn from their experiences.  Also use our Implementation Guide


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