The international impact of openEHR clinical content models

Heather Lesliea, Rong Chenb, Anže Droljcc, Shinji Kobayashid,
Hugh Lesliea, Ian McNicolle, Jussara Rötzschf,

a Ocean Informatics Pty Ltd, Australia; b Cambio Healthcare Systems, Sweden

c Marand d.o.o, Slovenia; d Department of Bioregulatory Medicine, Ehime University, Japan

e Ocean Informatics UK Ltd, United Kingdom; f Director, Foundation, United Kingdom and eHealth Consultant, Brazil



Experts from the international openEHR community have collaborated to offer an introductory tutorial on the openEHR methodology for collaborative clinical content development and its practical contribution to international EHR initiatives.

Formal modeling of clinical content that can be shared across applications, providers and geographical boundaries is one of the most promising pathways to semantic interoperability of health information. This tutorial is designed to: provide an overview of the openEHR approach to clinical modeling using openEHR (ISO 13606) archetypes, which is now the basis for standardization of health care information in many organizations and jurisdictions; and to present the latest research and developments in the use of clinical archetypes to improve semantic interoperability of Electronic Health Records (EHRs), particularly in Europe and Australia but with increasing momentum internationally. International experts will discuss how they are using archetypes to create national and international libraries of clinically verified EHR content, to support national eHealth program tool chains, to support aggregation and research analysis of data and as a basis for clinical decision support. The tutorial will draw together discussions and practical experience with tools and demonstrations to deliver a broad overview of the theoretical foundations and use of openEHR archetypes in practice, with specific focus on how openEHR clinical models are enabling a new paradigm of eHealth based upon standardized clinical health information that is driven by grassroots clinical domain experts.


Outline of topics

Introduction to the openEHR clinical modeling methodology

  • Clinical Requirements gathering

  • Model development

  • Clinician engagement and verification of models

  • Knowledge governance

  • Tooling

openEHR in international use by domain experts:

  • Supporting National & Regional eHealth programs – Australia/UK

  • Localizing openEHR models - Brazil & Japan

  • Clinical Research - Japan

  • Clinical Decision Support - Sweden

  • EHR development – Slovenia


Learning objectives

  1. openEHR clinical knowledge assets as agreed and common building blocks for sharing health information at knowledge level.

  2. openEHR Clinical Knowledge Manager as: an online library of archetypes and templates; an international collaborative portal for clinicians to review, agree and publish archetypes; and an online tool to enable clinical knowledge artefact governance.

  3. International, national and local collaborations on EHRs and health IT projects using archetypes, templates and the Clinical Knowledge Manager.

  4. Use of archetypes in broad international practice - EHRs, clinical decision support, clinical research and national eHealth programs.


Targeted audience

Intended audiences of this tutorial are national e-health programmes, health IT decision-makers, application developers, clinicians and health informaticians.



Previous knowledge about openEHR is not assumed. No technical expertise is assumed and, in particular, attendance by grassroots clinicians is encouraged.