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Consider for example the two alternative ways of recording family history, as shown in

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. The green rectangles represent the logical structure of the information model and the blue rectangles represent the concept identifiers that are used to populate this information model in the patient record.

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Two ways of recording family history

When querying over data, which may be collected in either format, both the semantics of the information model and the semantics of the data instances must be considered. One way of achieving this is to use an 'expression template' to convert all data instances into a Description Logic representation, and use this to reason over the data.

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 shows an example of an expression template that could be used to create a SNOMED CT expression for each of the data instances shown in
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CapRefIdtwo-ways-of-recording-family-history
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. Please note that the orange parallelograms represent 'slots' which are subsequently populated with the value of the named data element (e.g. '$Problem').

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SNOMED CT expression representation of family history data

When the data instances from

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 are used to populate the templates from
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CapRefIdsnomed-ct-expression-representation-of-family-history-data
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, the following two expressions are created:

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