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The CEN/ISO EN13606 standard PDF Print


The CEN/ISO EN13606 is a European norm from the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) also approved as an international ISO standard. It is designed to achieve semantic interoperability in the electronic health record communication.

The overall goal of the CEN/ISO 13606 standard is to define a rigorous and stable information architecture for communicating part or all of the electronic health record (EHR) of a single subject of care (patient) between EHR systems, or between EHR systems and a centralized EHR data repository. It may also be used for EHR communication between an EHR system or repository and clinical applications or middleware components (such as decision support components) that need to access or provide EHR data, or as the representation of EHR data within a distributed (federated) record system.

To achieve this objective, CEN/ISO 13606 follows an innovative Dual Model architecture. The Dual Model architecture defines a clear separation between information and knowledge. The former is structured through a Reference Model that contains the basic entities for representing any information of the EHR. The latter is based on archetypes, which are formal definitions of clinical concepts, such as discharge report, glucose measurement or family history, in the form of structured and constrained combinations of the entities of a Reference Model. It provides a semantic meaning to a Reference Model structure.

The interaction of the Reference Model (to store data) and the Archetype Model (to semantically describe those data structures) provides an unseen capability of evolution to the information systems. Knowledge (archetypes) will change in the future, but data will remain untouched.