Journal of Data and Information Science ›› 2016, Vol. 1 ›› Issue (2): 75-91.doi: 10.20309/jdis.201615

• Research Paper • Previous Articles    

Knowledge Representation in Patient Safety Reporting: An Ontological Approach

Chen Liang & Yang Gong   

  1. School of Biomedical Informatics, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston 77030, USA
  • Received:2015-11-10 Revised:2016-01-22 Online:2016-06-15 Published:2016-06-15
  • Contact: Yang Gong E-mail:Yang
  • Supported by:
    This project is supported by a grant from AHRQ, 1R01HS022895 and a patient safety grant from the University of Texas system, #156374. We thank Xinshuo Wu, Qi Miao, Swananda Pandit, Drs. Khalid Almoosa and Jing Wang for their input in constructing the ontology and evaluation.

Abstract: Purpose: The current development of patient safety reporting systems is criticized for loss of information and low data quality due to the lack of a uniformed domain knowledge base and text processing functionality. To improve patient safety reporting, the present paper suggests an ontological representation of patient safety knowledge.
Design/methodology/approach: We propose a framework for constructing an ontological knowledge base of patient safety. The present paper describes our design, implementation, and evaluation of the ontology at its initial stage.
Findings: We describe the design and initial outcomes of the ontology implementation. The evaluation results demonstrate the clinical validity of the ontology by a self-developed survey measurement.
Research limitations: The proposed ontology was developed and evaluated using a small number of information sources. Presently, US data are used, but they are not essential for the ultimate structure of the ontology.
Practical implications: The goal of improving patient safety can be aided through investigating patient safety reports and providing actionable knowledge to clinical practitioners. As such, constructing a domain specific ontology for patient safety reports serves as a cornerstone in information collection and text mining methods.
Originality/value: The use of ontologies provides abstracted representation of semantic information and enables a wealth of applications in a reporting system. Therefore, constructing such a knowledge base is recognized as a high priority in health care.

Key words: Patient safety, Medical error, Knowledge representation, Health information technology, Ontology