Annotation with semantic codes helps to overcome interoperability issues for electronic documentation in medicine. However, the manual annotation process is laborious and semantic codes are ambiguous. We developed a publicly accessible web service to alleviate these drawbacks with a sophisticated and fast search mechanism based on more than 330,000 semantic code suggestions. These suggestions are derived from semantically annotated data elements contained in the Portal of Medical Data Models manually curated by medical professionals. Integrating this suggestion service can support the manual annotation process and strengthen uniform coding. Integration is demonstrated for two separate data model editors. Usage statistics show over 5,500 suggestion requests per month for semantic annotation of items. The web service may also prove helpful for automatic semantic coding.
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