Clinical Terminology

  • Tim Benson
  • Grahame Grieve
Part of the Health Information Technology Standards book series (HITS)


Unlike most sciences, medical terminology is poorly structured. This creates major problems for semantic interoperability, where terms need to be used in a precise and unambiguous way. This chapter introduces the core concepts of clinical terminology, sets out a list of requirements (desiderata) and illustrates these with the story of the Chocolate Teapot.


Terminology Synonym Homonym Code Classification Hierarchy Concept Coding scheme Display term Relationship Value set Identifier Reference terminology Interface terminology Ontology Expression Vocabulary Polyhierarchy NEC (not elsewhere classified) NOS (not otherwise specified) Redundancy Chocolate teapot 


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© Springer-Verlag London 2016

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Tim Benson
    • 1
  • Grahame Grieve
    • 2
  1. 1.R-Outcomes LtdNewburyUK
  2. 2.Health Intersections Pty LtdMelbourneAustralia

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