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A Pathology Report Metadata Registry: Framework for Semantic Interoperability Across Disparate Systems.
CONTEXT: Seamless communication between different pathology information systems require a standard set of terminology. But a single standard is difficult to implement. This paper describes a technique that allows independent systems to maintain their current local set of terminology yet allows them to exchange data with other systems.
OBJECTIVE: To describe how a metadata registry can resolve issues in semantic consistency between disparate systems.
DESIGN: A subset of a pathology report templates will be used as an example for this paper. Templates from 2 different systems and their incompatibility will be shown. Using the principle of a metadata registry as proposed by ISO 11179, we will demonstrate using schemas how seamless exchange can occur between these 2 different systems.
SETTING: Theoretical exchange of data between 2 separate systems.
RESULTS: The metadata registry schema clearly shows an advantage over the nonmetadata system in maintaining semantic consistency between different systems
CONCLUSIONS: Pathology information systems need not migrate to standard sets of terminology to be able to exchange data. By maintaining a central metadata system, individual systems can keep their current terminology yet be able to exchange semantically consistent data with other systems.