The time has come to end unproductive competitions among different types of biomedical terminology artefacts. Tools and strategies to create the foundation of a seamless environment covering clinical jargon, clinical terminologies, and classifications are necessary. Whereas language processing relies on human interface terminologies, which represent clinical jargon, their link to reference terminologies such as SNOMED CT is essential to guarantee semantic interoperability. There is also a need for interoperation between reference and aggregation terminologies. Simple mappings between nodes are not enough, because the three kinds of terminology systems represent different things: reference terminologies focus on context-free descriptions of classes of entities of a domain; aggregation terminologies contain rules that enforce the principle of single hierarchies and disjoint classes; interface terminologies represent the language used in a domain. We propose a model that aims at providing a better flow of standardized information, addressing multiple use cases in health care including clinical research, epidemiology, care management, and reimbursement.
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