Secondary use of electronic health record (EHR) data requires a detailed description of metadata, especially when data collection and data re-use are organizationally and technically far apart. This paper describes the concept of the SMITH consortium that includes conventions, processes, and tools for describing and managing metadata using common standards for semantic interoperability. It deals in particular with the chain of processing steps of data from existing information systems and provides an overview of the planned use of metadata, medical terminologies, and semantic services in the consortium.
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