Clinical Classification and Terminology
Some History and Current Observations
- Correspondence and reprints: Christopher G. Chute, MD, DrPH, Mayo Foundation, 200 First Street SW, Harwick 8, Rochester, MN 55905; e-mail: 〈 〉
- Received 6 December 1999
- Accepted 19 January 2000
The evolution of health terminology has undergone glacial transition over time, although this pace has quickened recently. After a long history of near neglect, unimaginative structure, and factious development, health terminologies are in an era of unprecedented importance, sophistication, and collaboration. The major highlights of this history are reviewed, together with important intellectuaadvances in health terminology development. The inescapable conclusion is that we are amidst a major revolution in the role and capabilities of health terminologies, entering an age of large-scale systems for health concept representation with international implications.
This paper is based on a presentation by Dr. Chute that was part of the Cornerstone on Representing Knowledge, one of four Cornerstone sessions included in the program of the AMIA Annual Symposium, Washington, D.C., November 6-8, 1999.