How RxNorm fits into clinical interoperability

These days I gets lots of emails with questions like “What’s RxNorm?” and “How should we use UMLS in our software?” These subject areas are important to cover because if you’re doing any work in healthcare interoperability and don’t know about UMLS and code sets like RxNorm then you really should get up to speed quickly.

Charlie Harp over at has put together a great 15 minute overview of RxNorm and the UMLS Metathesaurus. It’s worth checking out.

I hope Charlie plans on doing more of these — they’re really a great idea. I’ve been requested to put together a few screencasts of some of my own presentations and plan to do so soon.

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5 thoughts on “How RxNorm fits into clinical interoperability

  1. Thanks for the link on, RxNorm, and UMLS. I would note, however, that UMLS is a meta-thesaurus and not a first order predicate logic ontology. Hence, its use is limited in achieving semantic interoperability. Interested users should also check out Language and Computing’s LinkBase ontology…the world’s largest. Kaiser Permanente is licensing this for medical natural language processing use, and for clinical decision support.

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