Structural methodologies for auditing SNOMED

Yue Wang, Michael Halper, Hua Min, Yehoshua Perl, Yan Chen, Kent A. Spackman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


SNOMED is one of the leading health care terminologies being used worldwide. As such, quality assurance is an important part of its maintenance cycle. Methodologies for auditing SNOMED based on structural aspects of its organization are presented. In particular, automated techniques for partitioning SNOMED into smaller groups of concepts based primarily on relationships patterns are defined. Two abstraction networks, the area taxonomy and p-area taxonomy, are derived from the partitions. The high-level views afforded by these abstraction networks form the basis for systematic auditing. The networks tend to highlight errors that manifest themselves as irregularities at the abstract level. They also support group-based auditing, where sets of purportedly similar concepts are focused on for review. The auditing methodologies are demonstrated on one of SNOMED's top-level hierarchies. Errors discovered during the auditing process are reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-581
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Biomedical Informatics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Abstraction network
  • Auditing
  • Group-based auditing
  • Partitioning
  • Quality assurance
  • Taxonomy
  • Terminology


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