The OHDSI Vocabulary Journey

The March 22 OHDSI Community Call provided an in-depth look at the OHDSI vocabulary, from how it is developed, to how it can be utilized, and where it should grow from here. Three leaders from the vocabulary workgroup joined to present a trio of topics for this session:

“A peek into the OHDSI vocabulary engine room”
– Michael Kallfelz, Physician Executive • Odysseus Data Services

“Fun things you can learn with the OHDSI standardized vocabularies”
– Patrick Ryan, Vice President, Observational Health Data Analytics • Janssen Research & Development; Adjunct Assistant Professor • Columbia University

“Time for reflection • Where are we? Where should we be?”
– Christian Reich, Vice President, RWE Systems • IQVIA

Watch The Presentation Here

Michael Kallfelz, Patrick Ryan and Christian Reich led the above presentation during the OHDSI community call.

The slides from this presentation are available here.

Both Reich and Anna Ostropolets led the Standardized Vocabularies chapter of the Book of OHDSI, which was first released in 2019 and has been updated online since. The introductory paragraph for that chapter is below. You can read the whole chapter here.

The OMOP Standardized Vocabularies, often referred to simply as “the Vocabulary”, are a foundational part of the OHDSI research network, and an integral part of the Common Data Model (CDM). They allow standardization of methods, definitions and results by defining the content of the data, paving the way for true remote (behind the firewall) network research and analytics. Usually, finding and interpreting the content of observational healthcare data, whether it is structured data using coding schemes or laid down in free text, is passed all the way through to the researcher, who is faced with a myriad of different ways to describe clinical events. OHDSI requires harmonization not only to a standardized format, but also to a rigorous standard content.