Document ontology: supporting narrative documents in electronic health records. Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized
  • Vocabulary, Controlled


  • Electronic health records (EHRs) are beginning to manage an increasing volume of narrative data, such as clinical notes pertaining to admission, patient progress, shift change, follow-up, consultation, procedures, etc. These documents fall into a wide variety of classes, based on who is writing them, for what purpose, and in which location, suggesting the need for a document ontology (DO) to model our knowledge of health care documents and their properties. This paper focuses on one aspect of the Health Level 7 (HL7)/ Logical Observation Identifiers, Names, and Codes (LOINC) DO, the Subject Matter Domain (SMD). We created a new polyhierarchical structure for the SMD that combines the current value lists from the LOINC database with another value list from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). We refined and evaluated the new structure through expert review of the ontology, a survey of medical specialty boards, and specification of SMDs for a corpus of clinical notes.

publication date

  • December 2005



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC1560738

PubMed ID

  • 16779127

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 684

end page

  • 8