The Implementation of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) in Electronic Health Records - A Systematic Review

  • Background: The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) is the World Health Organization’s standard for describing health and health-related states. Examples of how the ICF has been used in Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have not been systematically summarized and described yet. Objectives: To provide a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature about the ICF’s use in EHRs, including related challenges and benefits. Methods: Peer-reviewed literature, published between January 2001 and July 2015 was retrieved from Medline®, CINAHL®, Scopus®, and ProQuest® Social Sciences using search terms related to ICF and EHR concepts. Publications were categorized according to three groups: Requirement specification, development and implementation. Information extraction was conducted according to a qualitative content analysis method, deductively informed by the evaluation framework for Health Information Systems: Human, Organization and Technology-fit (HOT-fit). Results: Of 325 retrieved articles, 17 publications were included; 4 were categorized as requirement specification, 7 as development, and 6 as implementation publications. Information regarding the HOT-fit evaluation framework was summarized. Main benefits of using the ICF in EHRs were its unique comprehensive perspective on health and its interdisciplinary focus. Main challenges included the fact that the ICF is not structured as a formal terminology as well as the need for a reduced number of ICF codes for more feasible and practical use. Conclusion: Different approaches and technical solutions exist for integrating the ICF in EHRs, such as combining the ICF with other existing standards for EHR or selecting ICF codes with natural language processing. Though the use of the ICF in EHRs is beneficial as this review revealed, the ICF could profit from further improvements such as formalizing the knowledge representation in the ICF to support and enhance interoperability.

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Author:R. Maritz, D. Aronsky, Birgit Prodinger
Parent Title (English):Applied Clinical Informatics
Document Type:Article (peer reviewed)
Publication Year:2017
Tag:Disability and health; Electronic health records; International Classification of Functioning; Medical Informatics; Reference standards
First Page:964
Last Page:980
Peer reviewed:Ja
faculties / departments:Fakultät für Angewandte Gesundheits- und Sozialwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit