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Methods for managing variation in clinical drug names.

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Peters L, Kapusnik-Uner JE, Bodenreider O
AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2010 Nov 13;2010:637-41.
Abstract: 

OBJECTIVES

To develop normalization methods for managing the variation in clinical drug names.

METHODS

Manual examination of drug names from RxNorm and local variants collected from formularies led to the identification of three types of drug-specific normalization rules: expansion of abbreviations (e.g., tab to tablet);reformatting of specific elements (e.g., space between number and unit); and removal of salt variants (e.g., succinate from metoprolol succinate).

RESULTS

After drug-specific normalization, recall of 3397 previously non-matching names from formularies reaches 45% overall (70% of some subsets), compared to 10-20% after generic normalization. Ambiguity has not increased significantly in the RxNorm dataset.

CONCLUSIONS

A limited number of drug-specific normalization operations provide significant improvement over general language normalization.

Peters L, Kapusnik-Uner JE, Bodenreider O. Methods for managing variation in clinical drug names. AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2010 Nov 13;2010:637-41.