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Re: [ontolog-forum] Interoperability

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2013 14:27:10 -0800
Message-id: <9D4E7ACB258E4773805855142F22E0A6@Gateway>

Dear John,


You wrote:


Rich says "That kind of interoperability problem is much more a problem of data variability and complexity, not a problem of the ontology being “wrong”, but of there being TOO MUCH DEPTH of ontology challenging the providers."

Are you referring to the classes, or the properties, or both? 


Neither one.  I am referring to the diversity of values which can be entered and stored in response to a question.  I.e., if the provider is asked by the EHR what to put into a cell on the screen, and the answer cannot be predicted as one of a small number of choices, the entries that are provided vary widely in practice. 


There is an example in the eBook where providers can enter “shortness of breath”, “difficulty breathing”, or “SOB”, or other way of recording his observation of the patient symptoms.  Also the diagnosis cells in EHRs require unstructured text to put in the answers. 


The docs using these products are very irritated by the delays they encounter in “fixing” the entries they made to within the data constraints which the cells require for full validation to the entire EHR data structuring requirements. 


IMHO the primary issue with ontologies such as you describe is the sheer number of (class-specifiic) properties, not so much the depth of the ontology -- users don't interact with depth directly (or at all), they interact primarily with ontology properties.


The users are faced with question sequences that make up a tree, depending on which answer sequence said users enter.  That makes a very large set of possible paths the user can be experiencing through the EHR question sequence.  Some very smart people designed those sequences so that classes and properties are interpreted (by the EHR) in a programmed way.  That makes one hell of a lot of complexity for the provider to go through. 


And since we have just discussed how every user varies in her word usage, definitions, applicable rules and so forth, people are being forced into a single channel of interaction that doesn’t allow the human intuitions to exercise their usual heuristic efficiencies. 


I.e., it takes much too much time for the docs to deal with the EHR instead of with the patients. 


When you have people replicating substantial portions of an ontology's class structure as a property structure, this is where IMHO the idiocy begins. Eliminate that replication, and the ontology becomes more practical.


Yes, and the interaction becomes unworkable from the user’s view.





Rich Cooper


Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com

9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2


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