Active Semantic Electronic Medical Records

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



The most cumbersome aspect of health care is the extensive documentation which is legally required for each patient. For these reasons, physicians and their assistants spend about 30% of their time documenting encounters. Paper charts are slowly being phased out due to inconvenience, inability to mine data, costs and safety concerns. Many practices are now investing in electronic medical records (EMR) systems which allow them to have all patient data at their fingertips. Although current adoption by medical groups (based on a 2005 survey (AHRQ 2005)) is still below 15% with even less adoption rate for smaller practices, the trend is clearly towards increasing adoption. This trend will accelerate as regulatory pressures such as 'Pay-4- Performance' become mandatory thus enhancing the ROI sophisticated systems can achieve. This paper focuses on the first known development and deployment24 of a comprehensive EMR system that utilizes semantic Web and Web service/process technologies. It is based on substantial collaboration between practicing physicians (Dr. Agrawal is a cardiologists and a fellow of the American Cardiology Association, Dr. Wingate is an emergency room physician) at the Athens Heart Center and the LSDIS lab at UGA. More specifically, we leverage the concept and technology of Active Semantic Documents (ASDs) developed at the LSDIS lab.