Authors
Barry Smith
State University of New York, Buffalo
Abstract
The last two decades have seen considerable efforts directed towards making Electronic Health Records interoperable through improvements in medical ontologies, terminologies and coding systems. Unfortunately, these efforts have been hampered by a number of influential ideas inherited from the work of Eugen Wüster, the father of terminology standardization and the founder of ISO TC 37. We here survey Wüster’s ideas – which see terminology work as being focused on the classification of concepts in people’s minds – and we argue that they serve still as the basis for a series of influential confusions. We argue further that an ontology based unambiguously, not on concepts, but on the classification of entities in reality can, by removing these confusions, make a vital contribution to ensuring the interoperability of coding systems and healthcare records in the future.
Keywords positivism  Vienna circle  International Standard Organization  terminology work  Eugen Wüster
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Citations of this work BETA

Introduction: What is Ontology For.Katherine Munn - 2008 - In Munn Katherine & Smith Barry (eds.), Applied Ontology: An Introduction. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 7-19.
Against Idiosyncrasy in Ontology Development.Barry Smith - 2006 - In B. Bennett & C. Fellbaum (eds.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS). Amsterdam: IOS Press. pp. 15-26.
Referent Tracking for Digital Rights Management.Werner Ceusters & Barry Smith - 2007 - International Journal of Metadata, Semantics and Ontologies 2 (1):45-53.

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HL7 RIM: An Incoherent Standard.Barry Smith & Werner Ceusters - 2006 - Studies in Health Technology and Informatics 124 (Proceedings of MIE 2006):133–138.

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